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NPL and UKRI investment for innovation in time resilience, dissemination and application.
Funding of up to £4.7 million available through joint initiative, call for applications now open.

Quantum technologies

Nanoprobe facilities and consultancy

Characterisation and imaging on the nanoscale

NPL’s nanoprobe facilities enable the characterisation and imaging of physical and chemical properties, and are part of the Quantum Metrology Institute.  They integrate a uniquely broad and comprehensive set of state-of-the-art capabilities, and are especially suited for studies of solid state quantum materials or devices and providing reliable nanoscale characterisation techniques. The wide variety of modern instrumentation methods provide complementary solutions suitable for both industrial applications and fundamental research. Our expertise and capabilities offer solutions to problems such as:

  • Characterisation of (sub) surface features with nanometre resolution in quantum, including 2D materials
  • Characterisation of atomic defects such as single atom vacancies or impurities
  • Control and characterisation of electric, magnetic and thermal nanoscale properties
  • Studies of quantum spin-related phenomena
  • Chemical nanoscale analysis: determination of composition and structure
  • Identification of binding events on functionalised materials
  • Correlation of nanoscale imaging with complementary nano-electrical characterisation of thin films and devices
  • Development of standards and best practice guides in quantum technology

We provide flexible solutions to tackle real problems in many different industries, such as semiconductors, sensors, advanced manufacturing, automotive and aerospace, life science, defence and security.  We also have the knowledge to determine the most appropriate techniques and provide consultancy on interpretation of the results. Our expertise and facilities are listed below.

Work in this area is complex and unique so please contact us to discuss your exact requirements and challenges.

Contact us


Low-temperature nanoprobe scanning tunnelling microscopy
Near-field infrared surface spectroscopy
Scanning thermal microscopy
Environmental surface nano-characterisation
Raman microscopy and spectroscopy
Magneto-optical Kerr effect
Quantitative magnetic force microscopy
Physical Property Measurement System

Unique quantum expertise

Our nanoprobe facilities and expertise are part of the wider quantum activities in NPL known as the Quantum Metrology Institute.

Work in this area is complex and unique so please contact us to discuss your exact requirements and challenges.

Contact us


Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070