Open to researchers outside the CTN

  High Resolution High Temperature X-ray Diffraction Laboratory (MA3T)

The team carries out research in materials science having expertise in the structural characterization of binary and ternary semiconductors and thin multilayered films relevant to the electronic industry, and high-temperature alloys used in aeronautical applications. These studies are performed in collaboration with other national and international teams.

Laboratory Ma3T

The main techniques used by the team are X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflectometry, electron microscopy and small-angle neutron scattering. Development of scientific instrumentation, including remote control, data acquisition and analysis software is another important field of activity of the team.

Recently, a high-temperature X-ray diffractometer was built, the Hotbird, being now the main tool for in-situ characterization of materials from room temperature to high temperature. The main activities carried out in the Ma3T Laboratory involves the study of the following:


  • SinGem superlattices
  • Si1-xGex heterostructures
  • InGaN for optoelectronic applications
  • Implanted GaN - blue light emitters for electro-optical devices

Nanocrystals and amorphous materials

  • Implanted saphire
  • Implanted topaz
  • MCM-41 amorphous materials

Thin films

  •  Magnetic sensors - spin dependent tunnel junctions

Development of scientific instrumentation

  • Hardware: Hotbird, Laue Camera, Soller Slit
  • Optimisation of diffractometers

Research Projects

  • SiGe/Si Heterojunctions Grown on Virtual Substrates - Strain Relaxation and Self-diffusion, "GESICA" (Heterojunções de SiGe/Si Crescidas em Substratos Virtuais – Relaxamento e Interdifusão "GESICA"), POCTI/CTM/41918/2001, Programa POCTI, Sapiens. Leader institution: CTN (Doctor E. Alves); Partners: Warwick University. Budget: 80 k€.
  • Structural characterisation and physical properties of magnetic tunnel junctions (Quantum wells - Caracterização estrutural e propriedades físicas de junções de spin magnética), POCTI/CTM/41653/2001, Programa POCTI, Sapiens. Leader institution: CTN (Doctor N. Barradas); Partners: INESC. Budget: 95 k€.

Operating Team

- Researchers

  • Eduardo da Costa Alves Alves, IP Researcher (Coordination)
  • Katharina Lorez, IA Researcher (Contract)

- Collaborations, students

  • Nuno Barradas, IA Researcher
  • Sérgio Magalhães, Post-doc Student
  • Alexandra Fonseca, PhD Student

The presence of a secondary pick-up coil in the main magnet assembly allows the simultaneous measurement of both axial and transverse components of the magnetization. This transverse axis facility and a motor to rotate the sample, in steps of 0.1 degree, enable the determination of sample anisotropic effects.