Center for Applied AnalyticsThe Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC


In-depth materials analysis is a key stage in the development of many materials and processes. The Fraunhofer ISC‘s Center for Applied Analytics is an accredited test laboratory certified to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 and equipped with an extensive range of cutting-edge scientific instruments and analysis systems. As well as providing its services in-house, the Center provides external parties with a central point of contact for all questions relating to materials analysis in connection with industrial product development and optimization.

The Center’s main expertise lies in chemical analysis methods for nonmetallic materials, nanoscale analysis, failure analysis, characterization of structural properties and coatings, product testing (including RAL and EUCEB testing of mineral insulation fibers), and interfacial and surface analysis.

Chemical routine analyses using X-ray fluorescence methods are supplemented by resistance tests on a variety of materials. Advanced techniques such as inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) are capable of analyzing even a few millionths of a gram of a material in solution.

High-resolution scanning electron microscopes allow researchers to analyze microstructural properties such as the surface topography and surface properties of specimens. The Center also uses an advanced ion-beam cross-section polisher that enables even porous specimens to be prepared without artifacts. A transmission electron microscope (TEM) is used to analyze microstructural features down to the nanometer scale. The specimens are obtained by preparing ultra-thin slices of the material under test using a focused ion beam (FIB). Other techniques employed include X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for the chemical analysis of surfaces, and scanning force microscopy for mapping the surface topography of solid materials.