Through our Inorganic laboratory, the Unit has analytical capabilities in atomic spectrometric techniques such as ICP-SFMS and ICP-OES, for the development and maintenance of national measurement standards for the determination of major, minor, trace and ultra-trace elements in food materials and environmental samples. It provides analytical laboratories in industry with traceability to the SI units through the development of reference methods, reference measurements and the participation in proficiency testing schemes. The Unit plans to expand this capability through the development of a programme for the preparation of matrix reference materials in food. It is anticipated that this activity could in future be expanded to the coordination of proficiency testing schemes, also in food analysis. There is continuous analytical support to industry and strong business relations with national and international organisations.
The process of materials characterisation examines and measures the physical, chemical, mechanical, micro- and nanostructural properties of materials. The Characterisation laboratory specialises in state-of-the-art materials characterisation methodologies and techniques. With its hi-tech instrumentation, it offers advanced materials measurement services to diverse industries such as additive manufacturing, metals/ alloy beneficiation & processing, packaging, electronics, and advanced material research areas such as polymers, composites and nanomaterials. The scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIBSEM), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscope (TOFSIMS) and particle size distributor (PSD) are some of the instrumentation available for characterisation of materials.