The Center for Scientific Instrumentation

The Center for Scientific Instrumentation is more than just an equipment facility; it is a hub of research, providing state-of-the-art tools and technology and expert advice to scientists from BINA, Bar-Ilan University, as well as other academic institutions and the industry. Its unique instrumentation systems enable addressing a wide range of research questions and topics in the nano-realm.

Established in 2008, the Center is housed in a specially built structure occupying two sub-terrestrial floors and the ground floor of the Gonda (Goldschmied) Nanotechnology Triplex. Floating floors provide isolation from vibrations, a mainstay of the stable laboratory conditions critical to nanoscience and nanotechnology experimentation. These structural elements, together with the sophisticated scientific infrastructure and highly trained staff, provide an optimal environment for the sensitive equipment, offering the highest standards of scientific performance and enabling to utilize their capabilities to the maximum.

The Center's team of PhD-level researchers are important collaborators in numerous successful research projects. With their extensive training and experience, they are available for consultations with regards to experimental design, tool selection, and planning, sample preparation, procedures, and result analysis in diverse fields. In addition to their advisory and operational roles, they are also tasked with training students and certifying users for independent system use, thus contributing to next generation of nanoscience researchers. Hiring is also directed at acquiring new capabilities; for example, a recent recruit introduces to the Center life-science microscopy and biological sample preparation expertise.

Serving some 100 users outside of BINA, from academia and industry, the Center continuously invests in equipment purchase and upgrade and infrastructure enhancement. Among the Center's instrumentation systems are, for example, the RBS (Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometer), the first of its kind in Israel, with its unique capabilities for the 3D analysis of the structure of materials and its installation constitutes a major upgrade in the analytical capabilities of the scientific community in Israel. Another of the Center’s unique-in-Israel capabilities is a facility producing high-density multilayer thin-film coatings using a broad range of materials and elemental compositions.

The Center has threee main units:

  • The Charge Particles Microscopy Facility for advanced imaging and analysis is equipped with a variety of scanning, transmission electron microscopes and focus ion beam (SEMs, TEMs and FIBs.)

  • The Surface Analysis Facility enables a variety of surface-sensitive measurements, including chemical composition of the exposed atomic layers, atomic scale surface topography, electronic and mechanical surface properties, nanoscale surface manipulations, and more.

  • The Nano Fabrication Facility provides cutting-edge tools for patterning and crafting devices on a nanometer scale, including Class 100 and Class 1000 clean rooms equipped for a variety of fabrication processes, such as FIB, e-Beam lithography, photolithography, and PVD, ALD, and ICP-RIE (Reactive Ion Etch) capabilities

The Center for Scientific Instrumentation is currently planning its first public conference, which will include presentations of capabilities and systems, lectures, tours of the Center's facilities, demonstrations, and much more. 


Originally published in Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials' October-November 2017 newsletter