Nano-Analytical Platform (NAP)

Nano-Analytical Platform

The Nano-Analytical Platform (NAP) established in Monash University Malaysia is to provide analytical services in electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction for research and development needs. The main aspiration of NAP is to promote research excellence through assurance of analytical services to comply with international standards.

NAP is equipped with the following state-of-the-art analytical equipment: Field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) (Hitachi SU8010); Variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (VP-SEM) (Hitachi S3400N-II); X-ray diffraction system (XRD) (Bruker D8 Discover); and Atomic force microscope (AFM) (Bruker Multimode-8).

We welcome samples from industries, research institutions and universities as well as collaborations with academic researchers from laboratories all over the world.

Electron Microscopy

With high resolution imaging technique of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Monash University Malaysia is able to offer SEM services to meet the demands for high quality and cost effective analysis. SEM is an invaluable aid for performing characterizations such as tissue and cell imaging, pharmaceutical quality control, circuit edit, defect analysis, microscopic feature measurement, thin coating evaluations, surface contamination examination, materials qualification and nanofabrication.


  • Digital image collection from secondary and backscattered electrons via VP-SEM and FE-SEM
  • X-ray elemental analysis via EDX
  • STEM analysis
  • Ultramicrotomy

X-Ray Diffraction

The Bruker Discover D8 is an X-Ray Diffraction analysis system with multiple functions to investigate and determine the crystalline nature of materials. Equipped with two detectors, this system is able to resolve the angular distribution of the beam diffracted by the sample with high resolution. Moreover, Bruker Discover D8 has the capability to perform tasks such as phase identification and quantification, single crystal diffraction, percentage crystallinity, and structural identification.


  • X-ray powder diffractometry
  • High resolution and two dimensional diffractometry
  • Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
  • Thin film analysis
  • Qualitative and quantitative phase analysis

Atomic Force Microscopy

The AFM offers high-resolution topographic and surfaces scanning, measurements of electrical and magnetic property, electrochemistry, nanomechanical property with the temperature and environmental control module. Application modes and accessories available with the Multimode 8 AFM includes:

General Imaging Mode

      • ScanAsyst
      • Tapping Mode
      • Contact Mode
      • Phase Imaging
      • Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)

Electrical and Magnetic Property

      • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
      • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
      • Conductive AFM (CAFM)
      • Tunneling AFM (TUNA)
      • Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM)
      • Surface Potential Mapping


      • Universal Bipotentiostat
      • Electrochemical STM (ECSTM)
      • Electrochemical AFM (ECAFM)
      • Scanning Electrochemical Potential (SECPM)

Nanomechanical Property

      • Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM)
      • Nanoidentation
      • Force volume imaging and modulation

Temperature and Environmental Control

      • -35 to 250˚C heating-cooling in air
      • Fluid Cell Accessory Kit

FE-SEM (Hitachi SU8010)    

FE-SEMWith its unique SE-BSE filtering modes equipped with Oxford-Horiba Inca XMax50 EDX, FE-SEM stationed at NAP provides ultra high resolution imaging with elemental analysis and mapping. The Hitachi SU8010 also allows elimination of charging effects with low voltage imaging. It can achieve imaging resolution of 1.3nm at 1.0kV or 1.0nm at 15kV.

Furthermore, the deceleration mode enables the ultra-low accelerating voltage for shallow surface observation (0.1kV). Nonetheless, specimens for FE-SEM analysis should be dry solid with stability in vacuum condition under high-voltage electron beam.

The equipped STEM detector offers great opportunity to acquire TEM comparable images through detection of the transmitted and scattered electrons. As for STEM analysis, the sample has to be ultrathin (~ 100nm thick) to allow transmission of the electrons. The transmitted electrons provide information on the density and crystalline state of the sample whereas the scattered electrons deliver information on its compositional distribution.

The energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDX) coupled with FE-SEM can contribute to elemental analysis of the specimens. FESEM-EDX enables both qualitative and quantitative analysis for spatial variations in elemental compositions through elemental maps, line and spot scan. Discrimination of phases based on the mean atomic number could also be performed using BSE.

VP-SEM (Hitachi S3400N-II)

VP-SEMVP-SEM coupled with peltier sub-cooled stage and variable chamber pressure allows the microscopy of “wet”, oily and non-conductive samples without the need of additional preparation techniques such as coating. The SEM provides a resolution of 3nm at 30kV (high vacuum mode) and 4nm at 30kV (variable pressure mode).

Their high sensitivity back scattered electron detector permits the high quality imaging at low kV. Large chamber allows imaging of samples as tall as 80 mm even at analytical working distance.

The equipped peltier sub-cooled stage enable the cooling of specimens (-30oC to +50oC) in low vacuum mode which helps to retain water and prevents deformation of specimen structure during observation.

Ultramicrotome (RMC Models X and XL)

UltramicrotomeThe ultramicrotome incorporated with its glass knife allows the preparation of ultrathin sections (60-100nm) of biological specimens with perfect smooth surfaces for STEM analysis.

The specimen embedded in resin is cut by moving it vertically along the edge of the glass knife.

Due to the automated system for both vertical motion of the specimen and its feeding motions to be aligned, a number of thin-film specimens can be prepared successively in a short period of time.

XRD (Bruker D8 Discover)

XRDBruker D8 Discover allows high resolution X-ray diffraction patterns acquisition for powder and thin film samples. It is equipped with two detectors, i.e. LynxEye and Ventec-500.

The Bruker D8 Discover is also configured with grazing incidence diffraction (GID) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The use of a Göebel mirror provides an intense and parallel beam. A LynxEye detector is available for rapid data collection and with improved resolution.

Two magazine towers with 15 positions each for the autochanger can be loaded for extended analysis. The system has been complemented by comprehensive pattern data analysis program, profile fitting and rietveld analysis software, such as TOPAS, ICSD, ICDD PDF 2, DIFFRAC.EVA, DIFFRAC.NANOFIT and COD.

Atomic Force Microscopy (Bruker Multimode 8)

AFMThe Bruker Multimode 8 AFM offers precise topographic measurements of surfaces and high-resolution scanning, incorporating a closed-loop Z axis with a vertical range of 20 µm and an X-Y scan size of greater than 40 µm. It is designed for samples up to 15 mm diameter and 6 mm thick.

With ScanAsyst mode, the Multimode 8 AFM offers automatic image optimization for easier, faster, and more consistent results in materials, and life sciences. It automatically optimizes imaging parameters including setpoint, feedback gains and scan rate. This allows direct control of imaging force at ultra-low level, which helps protect delicate samples and tips.

In addition, the 5th generation NanoScope V controller provides reliable 50MHz data capture. It features an advanced digital architecture with high bandwidth, low-noise data acquisition and unmatched data processing capability. It offers the highest resolution 5120 x 5120. Up to eight images can be simultaneously displayed in real-time with unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio.

The AFM can in addition offer studies of Electrical and Magnetic Property, Electrochemistry, Nanomechanical Property, Temperature and Environmental Control.

Booking Form

For booking, kindly download and fill in the booking form(s). The form needs to be submitted to the respective officers at least one week prior to your requested time.

  1. VP-SEM / FE-SEM (download)
  2. XRD (download)
  3. AFM (download)
  4. Raman (download)


Charges for usage will vary accordingly to internal or external users. Users undertaking long term or intensive projects requiring many hours of analysis time will have the opportunity to be trained to operate the instruments themselves.

**For internal users, please contact the respective technical officer.

1. VP-SEM and FE-SEM

CategoryFees / sample (RM)
External users: RM 300
FE-SEM imaging RM 200
VP-SEM imaging RM 300
FE-SEM + STEM imaging RM 150
Plus EDX analysis  

2. XRD

CategoryFees / sample (RM)
External users: RM 100
XRay diffraction analysis RM 200
Advanced analysis using DIFRAC.EVA, TOPAS and NANOFIT  

3. AFM

CategoryFees / sample (RM)
External users: RM 250
Standard surface topography and roughness RM 250
a) Tapping mode RM 350
b) ScanAsyst mode *
Advance Mode RM 550
a) Mechanical properties RM 400
i) QNM RM 500
ii) Nanoidentation RM 450
b) Electrical & Magnetic properties RM 450
i) KPFM *
ii) CAFM *
iii) PFM  
iv) EFM  
v) MFM  
vi) SCM  
c) High temperature (250 degree C)  

*For the services marked with asterisk (*), please contact person-in-charge because the charges are subjected to the measured sample


For further inquiry and booking, please contact the respective persons below:

For general enquiries, please email to


Level 1, Building 5,
Monash University Malaysia
Jalan Lagoon Selatan
47500 Bandar Sunway
(Location map)