Optimal product identification and development with solid state analytics

Solid state analytics of materials
© Fraunhofer IBP

Today, materials analysis plays a key role in the development of modern, sustainable products. Solid state analytics focuses on establishing the relationship between material structures and the resulting properties to ensure optimal product identification and development. Our scientists use various methods.

X-ray analysis for comprehensive solid state characterization

Modern X-ray diffraction (XRD) technologies provide important analytical methods and are therefore an indispensable part of modern solids laboratories such as those at Fraunhofer IBP. We have a D2 phaser (Cu radiation) and a powerful SmartLab (Cu and Mo radiation) which allow us to characterize solids extensively.

In addition to the qualitative and quantitative phase analysis of (air-sensitive) powder samples, we can also use this equipment to perform measurements on real solids (up to 100 x 100 x 250 mm3). Samples can be scanned with a minimum beam focus of approx. 100 µm2 (XRD mapping), which - coupled with three-dimensional micro-computed tomography  – allows them to be comprehensively analyzed.

With our Johannson monochromator, we can use Kα1 radiation (Cu) to study complex, high-reflective samples. We also have a compatible DSC (differential scanning calorimetry) sample chamber for performing time- and temperature-dependent XRD measurements (up to 350 °C) on samples with simultaneous thermal analysis. PDF (pair distribution function) analysis can also be used to analyze the atomic short range order in amorphous solids.

Studying elemental composition with spectroscopy

To analyze the elements making up the sample material, our scientists work with an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, which is capable of detecting even low mass fractions (in the ppm range). We use our Raman spectroscope to selectively study chemical bonds and connectivities in solids. We have also built up expertise in characterizing silicate phases, including gels and glasses.

Together with Fraunhofer IOSB, our experts have also developed a sorting technology as part of the BauCycle project that uses infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to analyze particles less than two millimeters in size in real time. In this way, we can selectively separate a mixture of different materials - even of the same color - by means of electro-optical detection.

Also in focus: grain size and grading curve

With the help of test sieves, we determine the macroscopic grain size distribution and grading curve of aggregates. In our solid state laboratory, we can also perform particle characterizations down to the nanometer range. We analyze the anisotropic properties (flatness), moisture content and abrasion resistance of solids in order to evaluate their processability and thus their potential areas of application.

Fraunhofer IBP offers a wide range of solid state analysis methods

Thanks to our extensive know-how and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, we are in a position to comprehensively characterize solids both macroscopically and microscopically for our customers. The above-mentioned methods are complemented by numerous morphological and imaging techniques (e.g. SEM-EDX, 3D microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), micro-computed tomography, BET measurements and laser granulometry) as well as extensive tests to determine material properties (e.g. compressive strength, thermal conductivity, durability and nanoindentation).

Would you like us to perform a comprehensive solid state analysis for you, or even specific tests? Then get in touch with us!