ECCD offers a broad range of facilities to image and locally analyze solid materials on a microscopic level

At any level microscopic information can be combined with information on the chemical composition of the features of interest. Even at the microscopy scale visualization of full-3D structures of materials is possible making use of advanced tomography equipment. Typical parameters delivered by this expertise area include: dimensions, shape, morphology, distribution, local chemistry, local enrichments, (local) crystallinity and much more.

Identification of chemicals at the outer few nanometers of a surface requires dedicated surface analysis equipment. Modern facilities include imaging of the distribution of chemicals at a surface, ways to determine the profile of chemicals in subsurface layers and even full 3D-imaging.

The magnifications cover the whole range from easily visible by the eye up to the atomic level


Both the outside and the interior of materials are suitable for examination due to the large diversity of sample preparation capabilities the ECCD has in house. Hard and soft materials require a different approach, also for suspensions preparative methods are available. Cross-sectioning of a material can be done either on larger areas to create an overview or very locally.

Based on a long-term tradition for serving the chemical industry ECCD oversees the benefits and limitations of the technical capabilities so that the right approach can be chosen for every request. Depending on the needs of the customer these facilities can be used either as stand-alone application or in a multi-analytical approach.




  • Optical microscopy (OM)
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • (Scanning) Transmission electron microscopy (STEM)
  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)

Local chemical analysis and chemical imaging

  • Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX)
  • X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS)
  • Time-of-Flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)
  • Imaging infrared spectroscopy (IR)
  • Imaging Raman spectroscopy (Raman)



  • X-Ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)


Sample preparation and modification

  • Polishing
  • (ultra-)Microtomy
  • Cryogenic cutting
  • Ion-milling
  • Focused Ion Beam (on SEM)
  • Ar-cluster profiling
  • Staining
  • Metal or carbon deposition

Application areas


  • Particle dispersion in films/matrix for optimized performance
  • Surface modification
  • Nanoparticles
  • Ageing of materials
  • Reaction mechanism
  • Reverse engineering
  • Product optimization
  • Process optimization

Failure analysis

  • Surface defects, e.g. craters and adhesion/delamination
  • Material defects
  • Contaminants (spots, discoloration)
  • Mechanical failures (identification and sourcing)


The Expert Capability Center Deventer is located at the heart of the R&D center of Nouryon in Deventer, the Netherlands.

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