Materials Unit

The Materials Unit is consisted of two main laboratories which are Materials and Characterization Laboratory and Microscopy Laboratory respectively. The studies carried in these laboratories are mainly based on the effects of ionizing radiation on materials. In conjunction with this, new materials which may widely be used in nuclear technology, industry, environment, medicine, agriculture, and food are studied in laboratory scale.

In Materials and Characterization Laboratory studies are mainly focused on the materials characterization methods using Electron Spin Resonance (ESR), thermal, crystallographic, some mechanical/chemical testing techniques, and etc. Therefore some of these available techniques are mentioned below.

A continuous microwave, X-Band, temperature controlled (100-5000K) ESR Spectrometer having an goniometer as an optional attachment, is used for the examination of paramagnetic samples ranging from irradiated/nonirradiated foodstuff, various conducting or nonconducting materials to archeological and/or geological ones which are searched for dating purposes also. For the characterization of thermal properties of materials, Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and Simultaneous Differential Thermogravimeter (SDT) are used.

In these techniques, change in mass, activation energy, transition temperature, melting point, reaction kinetics, specific heat, and etc of the samples under investigation can be detected. In addition to these, electrical resistivities of conducting, semiconducting and superconducting samples, are also measured with the help of a cryostat system in the range, from liquid nitrogen to room temperature. The crystallographic properties of samples in powder form, are studied by using an X-Ray Powder Diffractometer (XRD) running within a wide temperature range (between -180°C and +1600°C), both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In Microscopy Laboratory there are mainly two microscopes which are contact mode type Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). As it is well known, no special sample preparation technique is required for a conducting or nonconducting sample to be investigated via AFM which gives three dimensional surface image even in atomic scale. In contrary, one should have a conducting sample (or a sample covered with a thin conducting layer) in order to get an image by a SEM. In this laboratory a novel, field emission gun type SEM system with X500.000 magnification capability, has already been installed recently. The above mentioned SEM is also equipped with an EDS system which is capable of identifying the elements from B to U in terms of both qualitative and quantitative meanings.