Materials Characterization Center
The Texas Tech University Materials Characterization Center is a multi-user facility designed to support a complete range of materials studies that include synthesis, analytical characterization, and applications testing.
Materials characterization refers to probing and measuring structure and properties/behavior of materials. Materials and nano-materials include metals, ceramics, minerals, polymers, semiconductors or composites. Materials characterization allows the scientific understanding of engineering materials. It is used to understand materials' structure, how this structure determines their properties, and how these materials will work in technological applications. Understanding of the materials structure-properties relationship allows a rational design of new/improved materials that are engineered to have better performance and longer service lifetime. Thus, materials characterization if fundamental in creating useful products that impact all facets of the economy, such as aerospace, electronics, energy, transportation, communication, construction, entertainment, and the environment. There are three broad categories of materials characterization techniques. Microscopy refers to a category of materials characterization techniques which probe and map the fine surface, sub-surface, and internal structure of materials. Spectroscopy is another category of materials characterization techniques which reveal chemical composition, composition variation, and crystal structure of materials. The third category of materials characterization techniques includes techniques which characterize various macroscopic mechanical, thermal, electrical, and chemical properties of materials.