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Institute of Physics - Centre for Science and Education - Laboratories and equipment


Basic investigation of nanomaterials:

In the Institute, we developed a contactless method of photoelectromagnetic (PEM) investigation of graphene used to determine diffusion length of minority carriers in graphene.

We also perform investigation of electrical and photoelectrical quantum effects in single nanowires of semiconducting and ferroelectric antimony sulfoiodide (SbSI). These measurements are possible due to ultrasonic welding of nanowires to metal microelectrodes on appropriate substrates. We use ultrasonic generator ADG70-100P-230-NO (Rinco Ultrasonics) with working frequency 70 kHz and max power 120 W, transducer C 70-2 (Rinco Ultrasonics) and a self-made special sonotrode with SiC single crystal end. Microelectrodes are connected with TO-5 and TO-8 packages using HB05 thermosonic wire bonder (TPT Wire Bonder).


Sonochemical preparation of nanowires:

Recently, the ultrasound irradiation was applied in the Institute to induce 1D growth of nanowires of ternary and quaternary chalcohalides formed from a group of 15-16-17 elements.

Our experimental setup for sonochemical preparation of nanomaterials consists of:

  • Sonics VCX-750 13TIP ultrasonic processor (Sonics & Materials company) with a frequency of 20 KHz and automatic tuning, ultrasonic electrical power 750 W and different sonotrodes,
  • two InterSonic IS–UZP–2 ultrasonic reactors with a frequency of 35 kHz, electrical power 75 W, ultrasound power density 2.6 W/cm2,
  • HAAKE DC30-K20 (Thermo-Scientific) compact refrigerated circulator,
  • 830-ABC/EXP Compact Glove Box,
  • One-Station EA (Plas-Labs Products),
  • MPW-223e centrifuge (MPW Med. Instruments),
  • CP-401 pH-meter (Elmetron) with ERPt-13 and ERH-11S electrodes (Hydromet) for Eh and pH measurements,
  • HR-4000 spectrophotometer (Ocean Optics Inc.) with integrating sphere ISP-REF (Ocean Optics Inc.)


Sonochemical fulfilling of carbon nanotubes with nanowires:

Experimental setup for sonochemical fulfilling of CNTs consists of:

  • Sonics VCX-750 13TIP ultrasonic processor (Sonics & Materials company) with a frequency of 20 KHz and automatic tuning, ultrasonic electrical power 750 W and different sonotrodes,
  • two InterSonic IS–UZP–2 ultrasonic reactors with a frequency of 35 kHz, electrical power 75 W, ultrasound power density 2.6 W/cm2,
  • HAAKE DC30-K20 (Thermo-Scientific) compact refrigerated circulator,
  • 830-ABC/EXP Compact Glove Box,
  • One-Station EA (Plas-Labs Products), 
  • MPW-223e centrifuge (MPW Med. Instruments),
  • CP-401 pH-meter (Elmetron) with ERPt-13 and ERH-11S electrodes (Hydromet) for Eh and pH measurements,
  • HR-4000 spectrophotometer (Ocean Optics Inc.) with integrating sphere ISP-REF (Ocean Optics Inc.).


Growth of photoferroelectric single crystals from vapour phase:

A class of ferroelectric semiconductors of the AVBVICVII type, where antimony sulfoiodide (SbSI) is the most outstanding representative, is of principal interest. SbSI has an unusually large number of interesting properties, such as pyroelectric, pyrooptic, piezoelectric, electrooptic, and nonlinear optical effects. Due to these properties, SbSI is an attractive and suitable material for many applications. In our Institute, single crystals of SbSI are grown from vapour phase in closed termisil ampoules placed in two-zone furnaces. Temperature of every zone is programmed and controlled independently.


Fabrication of textured polycrystalline antimony sulfoiodide:

Unfortunately, due to specific inherent characteristics of SbSI growth rate anisotropy, needle morphology is found to be predominant; accordingly, there is a difficulty in growing large single crystals or films of device quality. To avoid these drawbacks, textured polycrystalline SbSI is fabricated by rapid quenching of melted SbSI eutectic in liquid nitrogen.


Laser preparation of photoferroelectric heterostructures:

There is a great demand for actuators and sensors for practical application. Antimony sulfoiodide (SbSI) is one of the best piezoelectric crystals with high volume piezoelectric modulus and extremely high electromechanical coupling coefficient. It is a photoferroelectric material characterized by very high photosensitivity. Heterojunctions based on a SbSI single crystal have just been fabricated in the Institute of Physics of the Silesian University of Technology by applying laser beam that evokes melting and chemical decomposition of one or few selected sections of the crystal. Treated sections are composed of amorphous or crystalline antimony (III) sulphide (Sb2S3) with energy gap 0.3 eV smaller than that of SbSI. Devices with one heterojunction (diodes), two heterojunctions (transistors) and multi heterojunctions can be created. Fabricated heterostructures are characterized by very high photosensitivity. Nowadays, we irradiate separate sections or ends of SbSI single crystals with radiation emitted from molecular CO2 laser with wavelength λ = 10,6 µm (LTG70626G laser from LaserTechGroup equipped with LPZ1000 PZT driver with maximum output power of 5 W, as well as LM–100 laser from Elektrometal Żary with maximum output power of 100 W). Setup contains goniometer table model Chirana 41Y313, power meter PM5200 with an air-cooled power meter probe PM150 (Molectron).


Preparation of opals, opals infiltrated with SbSI, and inverted SbSI opals:

Institute owns an experimental setup for synthesis of SiO2 nanospheres and their gravitational sedimentation to obtain opal matrices; ovens for sintering opals at 1000 ºC and for infiltration of sintered opals with melted SbSI at 490 ºC, as well as sonoreactor for cleaning opals infiltrated with SbSI. The Institute also possesses an experimental setup for etching photonic crystals to obtain inverted SbSI opals.


Thin-layer technologies:

Multi-chamber ultra-high vacuum experimental setup with base pressure of 4x10-9 mbar, allowing for deposition and investigation of thin and ultra-thin layers of organic materials. The setup is installed in a chamber, which allows substrate annealing prior deposition. Technological chamber uses physical vapour deposition method (PVD) based on low temperature (Tmax~500°C) effusion cell. Thickness control of deposited layer is performed by means of quartz crystal microbalance with theoretical accuracy of 0.1Å. The setup allows to control both the deposition rate (resolution 0.1 Å/s) and substrate temperature during deposition (within the range of 293K to 500K). The investigative part of the setup is equipped with quadrupole mass spectrometer (Stanford Research RGA 100), which allows the Temperature Programmed Desorption (TDS) measurements. Moreover, TDS measurements may be enhanced with kinetics of gas adsorption investigation, due to leak valves of high accuracy. The setup also uses the Photoemission Yield Spectroscopy method (PYS), which allows to determine electronic properties of sample’s subsurface region. In case of layers deposited in the technological part of the setup, TDS and PYS measurements can be done in-situ, i.e. without evacuating the sample.


Measurement capabilities:


Optical methods:

Luminescence (optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), thermoluminescence (TL)) measurements: Automated TL/OSL reader Daybreak 1150, Automated OSL/TL reader Daybreak 2200, single photon counting system with dead time equals 50 ns, temperature range: ambient-700oC, visual light stimulation: high power halogen lamp with the filter set giving 20 mW/cm2 at 514 (FWHM 7) nm, high power blue LEDs with the filter set of max 49,7 mW/cm2 at 486(FWHM 20) nm, infrared stimulation: high power IR LEDs with the filter 45-129.9 mW/cm2 at 880 (FWHM 20) nm.

Irradiations exciting luminescence (alpha, beta or soft X radiation): Automated alpha/beta irradiator Daybreak 801 with two controlled sources of beta and alpha rays, beta or soft X ray excitations are made in the abovementioned luminescence readers.

Measurements of photoluminescence spectra in UV-VIS range: He-Cd laser, 325 nm; spectrometer, power meter, optical setup.

Optical diffuse reflection and transmittance spectroscopy (DRTS) measurements using PC-2000 spectrophotometer (Ocean Optics Inc.), two ISP-REF integrating spheres (Ocean Optics Inc.), R2205 Cryogenic Microminiature Refrigeration II-B System with K7701 temperature controller (MMR Technologies, Inc.), Vacuum: TSH 071E turbomolecular drag pumping station and a standard WS-1 (Ocean Optics Inc.) reference.

Specular reflectivity and transmittance measurements in temperature range 80 K to 343 K and in spectral range from 380 nm to 1000 nm (optical cylindrical chamber, GUR-5 (LOMO) goniometer, R2205 Cryogenic Microminiature Refrigeration II-B System, K20 temperature controller (MMR Technologies, Inc.). Vacuum: TSH 071E turbomolecular drag pumping station, the PC2000 (Ocean Optics Inc.) spectrophotometer with master and slave cards with 600 lines grating (blazed at 500 nm and 400 nm, respectively), deuterium–halogen light source DH2000-FHS from Ocean Optics GmbH.

Photoreflectivity investigations of nanomaterials used for excitation of the Ar laser (448 nm) in a spectral range from 600 nm to 1100 nm at room temperature (monochromator SPM-2 (Zeiss Jena), Ar laser (448 nm) Reliant 50s (Laser Physics), He-Ne laser (633 nm), 25-LHP-121-230 (Melles Griot), acoustooptical modulator TEM-85-2 (Brimrose), mechanical modulator SR540 (Stanford Research Systems), neutral density filter (Lot Oriel), photodiode S2387 (Hamamatsu), lock-in current-voltage converter in EG&G 5100 nanovoltmeter.

Measurements of photoluminescence spectra in UV-VIS range will be performed using He-Cd Omnichrome 374XM laser (325 nm), GDM_1000; monochromator (Zeiss Jena),

Measurements of thin layers’ elastic properties using Brillouin light scattering from surface phonons (Sandercock Inc. Tandem Interferometer).

Magnetic properties of ferromagnetic nanostructures are measured with the use of Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect (MOKE). System is equipped with a HP34970A universal multimeter, power supply (Kepco) and self-made photo-diodes (Si, Siemens) bridge. All work is conducted in a GPIB standard.


Electrical and photoelectrical methods:

Impedance spectroscopy of unilluminated and illuminated nanomaterials in vacuum and in various gases at different temperatures (Hioki 3532-50 and 3522-50 LCR meters. Vacuum: (Oerlikon Leybold vacuum PT50 pumping station, Alcatel ACC 1009, ADS 1001 and ADS 1004 gauges, ACM 1000 controller, Peltier thermoelectric cooling modules controlled by PRG RS H100 (Peltron GmbH), circulator HAAKE DC30, bath Kessel HAAKE K20 (Thermo Scientific), Keithley 196, humidity of atmosphere measured by a SHT15 sensor (Sensirion AG), ES-1530 meter (Elektro-System s.c.), Ar laser (448 nm) Reliant 50s (Laser Physics), He-Ne laser (633 nm), 25-LHP-121-230 (Melles Griot),

Advanced scanning Kelvin probe system package (SKP5050) by KP Technology.

Enhanced electrostatic force microscopy and scanning capacitance microscopy modules to scanning probe microscope PSIA XE-70,

Investigation of quantum efficiency of free carriers photogeneration in nanomaterials (R2205 cryogenic microminiature refrigeration II-B system (MMR Technologies), K7701 (MMR Technologies) temperature controller; Vacuum: (TSH 071E turbomolecular drag pumping station;  Photoconductivity: (Keithley 617 electrometer, SPM2 monochromator (Carl Zeiss), 750 W halogen lamp, Reliant 50S argon laser (Laser Physics), neutral filters UV–NIR-FILTER-250–2000 nm (Quartzglas-Substrate, Oriel), S-2387 silicon photodiode (Hamamatsu), PM 150 laser beam detector, Powermax 5200 meter (Molectron-Coherent),

Determination of electric conductivity and activation energies of dc electric conductivity in nanomaterials (Keithley 6517A electrometer, R2205 cryogenic microminiature refrigeration II-B system (MMR Technologies), K-20 (MMR Technologies) temperature controller. Vacuum: (TSH 071E turbomolecular drag pumping station).


Morphology and chemical analysis:

Atomic force microscopy in contact and non-contact modes (scanning probe microscope XE-70, PSIA Inc. with signal access module SAM).

Scanning Auger microscopy (SAM PHI 600, Physical Electronics).

Scanning electron microscopy using Phenom proX (Nano Science Instruments) with fully embedded EDS elemental analysis.


Thermal measurements:

Determination of thermal diffusivity in bulk samples and thin layers, based on dynamic measurements utilizing IR radiometry (solid-state laser DPSS 532nm, Shanghai Dream Lasers Technology Co., Ltd., acoustooptic modulator MDD-P80L-1.5, Isomet Co., IR detector MCT-13-0.50, InfraRed Associates, Inc., lock-in voltmeter EG&G 7625, Signal Recovery), and mirage effect (He-Ne laser - 7672 type, LASOS, laser diode F-840-500C-50-SM-M, Coherent, silicon position detector DL400-7PCBA, Pacific Silicon Sensor Inc., lock-in voltmeter EG&G 7625, Signal Recovery).

Highly localized thermal measurement in temperature and conductivity contrast modes (scanning probe microscope XE-70, PSIA Inc. with scanning thermal microscopy SThM module).

Micorcalorimetric measurement in temperature range from -170°C to 600°C (DSC 3500 Sirius, Netzsch).


Radioisotope measurements:

Liquid Scintillation Counting (LSC) suited for measurements of ultralow radioactivity of beta radiation from radiocarbon decay and can be performed using automated LSC spectrometers of beta radiation Quantulus 1220 (Quantulus 1 and Quantulus 2) and Liquid scintillation spectrometers of beta radiation ICELS 1 and ICELS 2.

Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and graphitization systems – suited for preparation of samples to the form of pure graphite for ultra-low radiocarbon concentration measurements by AMS system, which can be performed using Automated AGE-3 system, Vacuum line for production and graphitization of CO2 (manual system).




Gas sensors – gas analysis using surface acoustic waves:

Surface acoustic waves (SAW) are used in gas analysis because in a proper configuration of sensor structure, gas molecules can obtain very high sensitivity. Even for a very low gas concentration (ppm, ppb level) changes in SAW velocity and attenuation can be very easy to measure by means of dedicated oscillator circuits. New possibilities of SAW gas sensors investigated at the Institute of Physics of the Silesian University of Technology are bilayer structure sensors which can be implemented in thin film technology. Bilayer structures of various materials (semiconductor metal and reverse ones) can obtain better “work point” and consequently higher sensitivity. Nowadays, we can test various sensor materials in a form of thin film and bilayer thin film structures on lithium niobate substrates (~43 MHz) and on the new 205 MHz quartz substrates (SAW Components Dresden Germany) both in dual-delay line configuration. A three-channel OWLSTONE gas generator device (OFC,OVG – 4,OHG,  UK) is used to create very precise concentration of various gases and vapours (i.e. DMMP – stimulant of warfare agent) in air or nitrogen.


Nanowires, nanotubes, and photonic crystals as gas sensors:

All around the world, a great deal of attention is focused on one-dimensional nanostructures because of their properties related to gas sensing. SbSI (being a semiconducting ferroelectric) is a promising material due to a large number of interesting properties (e.g., pyroelectric, pyrooptic, piezoelectric, and electrooptic).

Recently, SbSI nanowires are prepared sonochemically. DC electric field of 5∙105 V/m is applied between electrodes during the deposition of SbSI sol on IAME--co-IME2-1AU substrates to align nanowires perpendicularly to electrodes. SbSI nanowires are welded ultrasonically to metal microelectrodes. We use ADG70-100P-230-NO ultrasonic generator (Rinco Ultrasonics) with working frequency of 70 kHz and max power of 120 W, C 70-2 transducer (Rinco Ultrasonics) and a special sonotrode with SiC single crystal end. The morphology of SbSI nanostructures is studied using a Phenom ProX scanning electron microscope (Phenom-World). Electrical connections between gold electrodes and measurement board are made using HB05 thermosonic wire bonder (TPT Wire Bonder).

Quantum effects in conductivity and photoconductivity of single SbSI nanowires are investigated in controlled vacuum or various gas environment in optical vacuum chamber. Measurement chamber is equipped with UMS 200 mass spectrometer (Prevac), with RGA200 quadrupole gas analyser (Stanford Research Systems), PT50 Oerlikon Leybold turbomolecular vacuum pump, vacuum gauge controller ACM 1000 with gauges Alcatel ACC 1009, ADS 1001 and ADS 1004, two Mass Flow Controllers SLA 5850 (Brooks Instruments), temperature sensors with 211 temperature controller (Lake Shore), and humidity sensor SHT15 (Sensirion AG) with humidity meter ES-1530 (Elektro-System s.c.).

The DC electric measurements are performed using a Model 6430 Sub-Femtoamp Remote SourceMeter (Keithley) or Keithley's 617 and 6517A electrometers, as well as with Keithley 224 programmable current source or Keithley 2410-C High Voltage SourceMeter.

Photoelectrical investigations are performed using the Reliant 50S (Laser Physics) argon laser with λ=488 nm wavelength. Neutral filters UV–NIR-FILTER-250–2000 nm (Quartzglas-Substrate, Oriel) are used to change the intensity of light. Acquisition of data and control of radiation wavelengths, temperature, gas flow and pressure is completed using a PC computer with GPIB bus and appropriate programs in LabView 8.5 (National Instruments).


P13 - UV-radiation sensors:

Gallium nitride and related compounds (InGaN, AlGaN) have wide bandgap (in visible and ultraviolet range) and have very good thermal and chemical stability. They are promising materials to use as light sources and photodetectors. Metal/insulator/AlGaN/GaN structures with capacitance-based detection of UV light seem to be especially interesting candidates for sensitive solar-blind detectors. The designed UV photodetector is based on the metal/insulator/AlGaN/GaN structure with transparent gate electrode and thin insulating layer (in nm range). The technology of device fabrication will be developed in other cooperating research centres.

In our laboratory, we measure electrical characteristics (capacitance-voltage, current-voltage etc.) under controlled illumination and characterize surfaces, as well as chemical composition of the devices using atomic force microscopy (AFM), Auger electron spectroscopy and microscopy (AES/M) respectively. One of our goals is the optimization of insulator/AlGaN interface to obtain thermal stability of the photodetector, its high sensitivity, and blindness to solar light background.

Scholarships 2020/2021
Admission 2019/2020
Art & Design Competition
European projects
ELSEVIER Awards Poland
HR Excellence in Research
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