Imaging and Characterization Core Lab

Imaging and Characterization Core Lab

Delivering a wide spectrum of capabilities in imaging, structure, and spectroscopy characterization

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The Imaging and Characterization Core Lab houses state-of-the-art technologies in the disciplines of electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, physical characterization, surface science, and optical microscopy.

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The Imaging and Characterization Core Lab offers five functional areas

The optical microscopy lab houses advanced optical microscopes which provide capabilities in both biological and materials science imaging and characterization. Our expert staff specialize in: cell culturing; staining and tissue processing; 2D, 3D and 4D imaging; advanced live cell imaging; image processing; surface topography inspection; grain size and porosity analysis; and dynamic process imaging and physical characterization.

Within this area a Center of Excellence for Optical Microscopy has been established between KAUST and Leica Microsystems. This partnership supports cutting-edge life science research.


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Our NMR lab, supported by our partnership with Bruker, presents cutting edge advanced technologies for obtaining atomic resolution information on the structure and motion of molecules. Processes we are proficient in include; one-dimensional, multi-dimensional, and dynamic nuclear polarization NMR spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging for macroscopic images.


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The physical characterization lab specializes in physical property characterization, with a focus on X-ray diffraction, raman spectroscopy, and electrical characterization. Our expertise includes: phase identification of polycrystalline samples by powder X-ray diffraction, 3-D structure determination of single crystals, structural properties measurement of epitaxial thin film, Raman molecular group identification, photoluminescence (PL) analysis for light emission position determination and electrical probing of wafers, dice, and packaged devices.


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Within this department KAUST has established a Center of Excellence for electron microscopy with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Our expertise, combined with the technological and expert support derived from this partnership, places our lab at the very forefront of electron microscopy.


Techniques we specialize in include: ultra high spatial resolution TEM/STEM and SEM imaging; ultra-high energy resolution EELS analysis of chemical states; band structure and surface plasmon; atomically resolved chemical analysis with EDS and EELS; Cryo TEM and SEM; ultra beam sensitive materials high-resolution imaging; electron tomography; large volume 3D SEM and FIB imaging; electron crystallography and high temporal resolution in-situ TEM.

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Surface science deals with the property of surfaces and sub-surfaces up to a depth of several nanometers. This lab is equipped with technologies for analyzing surface morphologies, chemical states, chemical compositions and composition distribution along depth, enabled by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and atomic force microscopy.


For a listing of technologies in this area please click here