About Us

NCNSM Characterisation Facility

Our facility provides a wide range of instrumentation for use by the nanotechnology community, and others, to characterise their research samples. Researchers from universities and other public institutions, as well as from industry, are welcome to book time on our instruments using the booking facility.

The following instruments are available for external users to book and use, either with or without the help of an operator from the Centre. Please contact us on smotaung@csir.co.za for bookings.



Scanning Probe










Both the Department of Science and Technology as well as the Council for Scientific and Industry Research have contributed to the establishment of this facility and we are very thankful for their support.


Facility manager: Prof Gugu Mhlongo

Interests and Projects:

Ms Charity Maepa

Instruments: Characterisation of materials using primarily the Field Emission JEOL Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). I also use other microscopes such as the atomic force microscope (AFM) and Fourier Transformed Infra-red (FTIR) Microscope and the spectroscopy.

Ms Lesego Maubane


Mr Lindo Mdletshe

Instruments: Characterization support on X-ray diffraction and Raman Spectroscopy.

 Ms Popoti Maake

Instruments: TGA, Impactor, MFI, TGA-FTIR-GC-MS and ICP-MS

Ms Rirhandzu Rikhotso

Instruments: Transmission Electron Microscopy

Ms Sharon Eggers

Instruments: Primarily operating the ZEISS SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and EDX ( Elemental analysis) as well as the AFM (atomic force microscope) instrument to characterise materials (mainly nanoparticles, polymers, nanoclays or coatings which have a thickness in the nano range). I am most interested in recalcitrant samples which require skill and attention in order to render decent images. I also focus on the freeze fracture technique to reveal cross sections suitable for SEM analysis. This allows the measurements of surface coatings and the visualisation of clays or other particles dispersed in a polymer matrix.

I have however had experience with viewing an extremely wide range of samples (carbon nanotubes, catalysts, support materials, metals, geological samples, biological samples, filters, mining samples, ceramics) and my great passion is to conduct ‘detective’ work using the SEM to solve or shed light on a problem or question.

Mr Solly Motaung

Instruments: BET analyser, pycnometer, DLS particle size analyser