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Labs & Equipment

OLEM is equipped with advanced facilities for the development, fabrication and testing of nanomaterials and nanostructures. Provides mechanical, thermal, rheological and electrical properties characterizations with in line structure visualization at micro and nanoscale. Studies are performed for polymers, nanomaterials, ceramics and metals, oils. pastes and liquids. Bulk samples, nanoobjects and grain boundaries, ultrafine films, soft, hard and superhard coatings are investigated. Application specification: mechatronics, micro and nanoelectronics, енергъ, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, aging and recycling of nanomaterials. Survices on validation testing for quality assurance of electronic components and devices are provided.

OLEM LABORATORIES: OLEM operates in six Laboratories of 200 m2 space:

  • Nanomechanics Lab: Investigation of surface mechanical properties at nanoscale and property mapping. Nanoindentation, dynamic nanoindentation, nanotribology and nanoscratch, combined with in line SPM imaging and XPM property mapping. Testing of hardness and elastic modulus of nanoobjects, grain boundaries, interfaces and surfaces. Adhesion of nanolayers to the substrate and in the multilayered stacks. Testing of dissimilar material bonding in composite deposits. Time resolving cyclic nanoscale scratch/wear characterization. In-situ correlation of nanomechanical properties, deformation behavior and electrical contact resistance.   Test equipment: Hysitron TI 980 Tribo Nanoindenter (Bruker)
  • Mechanics, Micromechanics &Tribology Lab: Mechanical testing of deformation and fracture in tensile, 3-point bending and compression modes (in thermo chamber). Tribology: fraction and wear. Nanoindentation and microindentation hardness & elastic modulus.  AFM surface scanning.  Test equipment: UNMT Nanoindenter with AFM (Bruker) and UMT Micro & MacroMechanical Test devise (Bruker).
  • Thermal Conductivity Testing Lab: Thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of different materials (polymers, metals, ceramics, oils and liquids) in wide temperature range (-100 to 500 oC). Scanning Electron Microscopy for structure visualization at micro and nanoscale.   Test equipment: LFA 467 Hyper Flash (Netzsch), Tabletop SEM SH 4000 (Hirox)
  • Rheology & Thermal Analysis Lab: Fabrication of nanodispersions and test samples. Rheological characterization of melts, dispersions and liquids in dynamic and steady-state modes.  Rheological control and optimization of processing & formulation. Rheology-structure-property relationships. Thermal analysis: temperatures of structural transitions (DSC), thermal stability and degradation (TGA). Oxidation induction time and temperature (OIT). Aging and recycling of nanomaterials.   Test equipment: Rheometer AR-G2 with DMTA (TA Instruments), DSC and TGA (TA Instruments), Ultrasonic homogenizers, Spin-coater, Hot press.
  • Polymer nanocomposite processing: Mixing of polymers and nanofillers by extrusion. Polymer blends fabrication. Production of filaments for 3D printing.   Equipment: Twin screw extruder Process 11 (Thermo Scientific), Single screw extruder and Pelletizer (Harpo).
  • 3D Printing Lab: Production of prototypes by 3D printing (FDM) and CAD modeling. Control on printability of novel filaments (own production).  Electrical dc-conductivity of bulk samples and surface conductivity.   Equipment: German RepRap X400 PRO, Set for electrospinning and electrosprey. Electrometer Keitley.

Contacts: Phone (+359-2) 979-6481 ; 979 6415 ; 979 6407


e-mails: ;


OLEM facilities:

UNMT: Nanomechanical Tests: Nanoindentation and Atom Force Microscopy (Bruker-CETR)

  • Nano Indentation with Berkowich nanoindenter: nanohardness and Young's modulus.
  • Inline imaging of indentation imprints with Atom Force Microscopy (AFM).
  • Nanoindentation with the tip of AFM cantilever: used for fine polymer films and biological materials.
  • Nanostructure of surfaces in scanned and phase modes performed with Atom Force Microscopy.
  • Surface roughness of films and coatings tested by Atom Force Microscopy


UMT: Macro & Micro-mechanical tests (Bruker-CETR)

  • Deformation and fracture, creep and relaxation tests. Mechanical strength and Young's modulus (in tensile, bending, torsion and compression modes), stiffness, toughness, elasticity and plasticity.
  • Deformation tests at different temperatures (20-150oC) - in thermal chamber.
  • Tribology and friction: wear resistance, wear depth, coefficient of friction. Standard tests by "pin on flat" and "ball on disk" in linear and rotation modes.
  • Microindentation test (Vickers and Rockwell indenters) - microhardness, indentation Young's modulus.
  • Micro & Nanoscratch tests: scratch resistance, scratch dept, adhesion of films to a substrate, delamination of coatings.

AR-G2 Rheometer & DMTA (TA Instruments)

  • Rheology of Liquids (in wide viscosity range) - from low viscosity liquids, to polymer melts, dispersions and pastes, oils, paints, adhesives, bio-medical materials, dental materials, cosmetics & pharmaceutics, food industry products.

  • Rheology of Solids - dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA in torsion).


Thermal analysis, DSC - Q20 (TA Instruments)

  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Evaluation of transition temperatures - Tg, Tc, Tm
  • Oxidation induction temperature and time


Thermal analysis, TGA - Q50 (TA Instrumets)

  • Thermogravimetric analysis
  • Thermal stability
  • Thermal degradation


Optical microscopy Leica DM750

  • Visualisation of materials and imaging in transmission mode
  • Magnifications 4× – 100×
  • Imaging software modules and polarization kit


X400 PRO German RepRap 3D printer

  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM-FFF) type 3D printer
  • PLA, ABS, PU, PA filament materials application



Light Flash Apparatus, LFA 467 Hyper Flash (NETZSCH)

  • Thermal Conductivity (0.1 - 4000 W/(mK)
  • Thermal Diffusivity (0.01 - 2000 mm2/s)
  • Specific Heat Capacity
  • Temperature range, from -100 to 500oC



Tabletop SEM HIROX SH 4000

  • 30x - 60 000x Magnification
  • SE & BSE Detector
  • 5kV to 30 kV Accelerating voltage
  • 15 nm Resolution







Hysitron TI 980 Nanoindenter


The Hysitron TI 980 TriboIndenter is Bruker's latest, most advanced nanomechanical test instrument that lies at the intersection of maximum performance, flexibility, reliability, usability, and speed.

  • Nanoindentation — hardness, elastic modulus, creep, stress relaxation, fracture toughness, high-speed property mapping
  • Nanotribology — thin film adhesion, friction coefficients, scratch/mar resistance, reciprocating wear
  • SPM Imaging — topography and gradient imaging, nanometer - precision test positioning, friction force imaging
  • Dynamic Nanoindentation — continuous hardness and modulus depth profiling, storage modulus, loss modulus, tan-delta

Modified date:27-04-2023