The SM lab at the Physics Department of the UoI  has recently acquired a European & National Sources Fund that is now a part of the Network of Research supporting laboratories


Temperature-dependent Dielectric Spectroscopy


Two dielectric spectrometers (Novocontrol concept 40) that include: high resolution (minimum tandelta~2x10-5), dielectric analyzer ALPHA-ANB with DC-Bias ±40 V (70 mA), with a frequency range from 3μHz to 20 MHz, active head sample cell ZGS, QUATRO temperature controller for measurements in the range from -160 to +400 oC.

Sample preparation

1. liquids

2. film


Pressure-dependent Dielectric Spectroscopy

In addition to T-dependent studies the lab at the UoI is equipped with a pressure-dependent dielectric spectroscopy for pressures in the range from 1 to 1000 atm. The UoI is recognized for the first studies of homopolymer (local and global polymer dynamics) and polymer blend dynamics (dynamic heterogeneity) at elevated pressures. In addition, pressure-dependent studies on polypeptides, performed solely at the UoI, were instrumental in clarifying the origin of the polypeptide liquid-to-glass transition.


Sample preparation



The rheometer (TA Instruments, model AR-G2) includes a magnetic bearing that allows for low nano-torque control (minimum torque: 0.01 μN∙m, maximum torque: 200 mN∙m, torque resolution: 0.1 nN∙m, displacement resolution: 25 nrad). It is equipped with Peltier plates, Environmental test chamber for temperature control from -160 to +600 oC, camera with image capture, small-angle light scattering unit for simultaneous rheology/scattering measurements (scattering angles from 6 to 26.8o, corresponding length scale from 1 to 4.6 μm).


Polarizing Optical Microscopy (POM)

Polarizing optical microscopy (Zeiss Axioskop 40, equipped with a video camera and a fast frame grabber) and with a Linkam temperature control unit (model THMS600, with TMS94 temperature programmer, temperature range -196 to 600 oC) will be employed in the Liquid Crystal/AAO studies.


Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

DSC Q2000 (TA Instruments), temperature range: -180 to 500°C, DSC and TM-DSC.


Small/wide-angle X-ray Scattering

N8 Horizon vertical setup (Bruker), for structure measurements in both small (SAXS) and wide (WAXS) scattering angles, and grazing-incidence SAXS (GI-SAXS). Uses a 50 W CuKa radiation Iμs micro-focus air-cooled source, with integrated MONTEL optics. Capability of measurements in the temperature range of 25 oC  to 300 oC and -30 oC to 120 oC, including the detectors:

  • VÅNTEC_500 (2D), with spatial resolution of 68 μm in the 2θ range of 0° to 5°
  • VÅNTEC_1, with spatial resolution < 50 μm in the 2θ range of 17.5° to 26.5°.


  • Wide-angle X-ray scattering (in the Physics Dept, UoI)

X-ray powder diffraction unit of the Research Supporting Laboratories of the UoI; D8 Advance Bruker diffractometer, Cu Kα (40 kV, 40 mA) radiation, equipped with a secondary beam graphite monochromator.