Scheduling Use of Advanced Materials Characterization CORE facilities

Our CORE facilities usage is managed by Dr. Paul A. Baker.  In order to arrange for usage or services, please complete the reservation form.

Computer Controlled Electrospinner

Computer Controlled Electrospinner

Automated electro spinners for making 3D-tissue-scaffolds from
proteins, synthetic and biopolymers, blends and composite nanofibers in tubular geometry  of varying diameters ( 1 mm to 6 mm) and any lengths up to 30 cm for vascular grafts, perfectly-aligned fiber scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering, bi-phasic and tri-phasic composite fibers (hydroxyapatite/ collagen/polymer ( PLA, PCL, PLGA, PLC)) fiberous scaffolds with 80-90 % porosity and interconnectedness with and without growth-factors  for bone and craniofacial tissue engineering  etc.

Diamond Microfabrication Lab

Diamond Microfabrication Lab2

Diamond Microfabrication Lab1
This facility contains two core systems.  A Sputter deposition system and a maskless lithography system provide researchers the capacity to create their desired patterns in their choice of metals.AJA International Inc’s Polaris sputtering system has a 750 watts DC power source for the target gun and a 100 Watts RF power source for creating RF plasma to clean samples.  Metal films of thickness in the range 0.2 µm – 2 µm can be deposited using
the DC power source. Future upgrades planned for this system will allow for the deposition of both conducting and insulating thin films.  The maskless lithography system has the capability to create features with a resolution of 5 µm.  The innovative smart filter on this system eliminates the need for expensive physical masks for creating desired patterns on a given substrate. The microfabrication lab is equipped to carry out both wet-etch and lift-off processes for creating patterns/circuits on planar and
non-planar substrates.

Micro-Raman/Photoluminescence Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique for probing the local atomic environment in a wide variety of materials by detecting the phonon vibrations through the material. Particularly sensitive for carbon-based materials. It is complementary to the FT-IR technique. 

Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition

Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition
The 1.2 KW, 6 KW Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition systems are utilized for growing single crystal and nanocrystalline diamond on various substrates such as diamond, silicon, and titanium alloys. Shown to the left is the 1.2 KW CVD system. This system is primarily used for growing homoepitaxial diamond for the purpose of fabricating designer diamond anvils utilized in high-pressure research.

Multi-Axis Wear Simulation Test Apparatus

Multi-Axis Wear Simulation Test Apparatus
The Force-5 (AMTI, Inc.) wear simulation instrument for the testing of materials for biomechanical applications, such as the evaluation of joint replacement implants. The machine can be set up to test various types of devices such as hips, knees, and temporomandibular joints. The motion can be programmed to mimic the complex motion of these implants and uses feedback to control the motion. With a maximum vertical load of 1000lbs. and 4 independently controlled axes of motion, the machine can replicate patterns of motion such as walking or chewing using a user-configurable computer control. A six-axis load cell gathers force and displacement data for analysis. The joint in testing can be maintained in a temperature-controlled, fluid-filled environment for proper biomechanical considerations.

Panalytical Empyrean Multi-purpose X-ray diffractometer

The Panalytical Empyrean Multi-purpose X-ray diffractometer has the capability to analyze many types of samples, including powders, thin films, and epitaxial films. Samples can be analyzed in reflection or transmission and the instrument is outfitted with multiple stages including a 3-axis stage and a reflection/transmission spinning stage. Other types of analysis include small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), micro-diffraction (~300um spot size), and high-resolution single crystal analysis, such as pole figures and reciprocal space mapping (RSM). The instrument has two detectors: an array detector for fast powder diffraction scans and RSM as well as a standard proportional detector with a parallel plate collimator for thin film scans. Multiple optics are available including the BBHD (standard optic with beta filtering), a monochromator for high resolution scans, a focusing mirror for SAXS and transmission scans, and the micro-diffraction optic.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

SEMThe Quanta 650 FEG scanning electron microscope (SEM) was purchased in 2012 with an NSF-MRI grant for $550,000 and is located at the School of Engineering. The SEM provides high resolution images with resolution down to the nanometer range. It can image samples ranging from metals to biological samples and even wet materials. It also can perform energy-dispersive x-ray analysis (EDAX) to provide elemental composition. Non-conducting samples can be imaged with the aid of the new sputter coater which deposits a thin layer of gold-palladium on the surface to improve imaging.

Spectrofluorometer with microscope coupling optics

Spectrofluorometer with microscope coupling optics
The Horiba Scientific Fluorolog 321 double grating spectrometer with TE-cooled photomultiplier will be used for high sensitivity fluorescence detection upon Troponin adsorption. This system has a solid sample and custom microscope coupling optics/slits to allow fluorescence mapping at the sub-micron level using an attached Zeiss fluorescent microscope with custom camera and spectrometer interface components.

Fluorescent Microscope

The Zeiss Axio Imager A2 fluorescent microscope has both reflective/transmission imaging capability and is fiber-optically coupled to the Horiba spectrophotometer for solid sample fluorescence measurements from sub-micron areas.

Viscometer: The Brookfield Engineering LVDV-II+PRO Cone/Plate viscometer system allows rheological measurements of small sample volumes as low as 0.5 ml. This will enable us to study mixing and viscosity of polymer blends and composites needed to print “inks” for DPN.

Plasma and UV/ozone cleaners: The Harrick plasma cleaner and Novascan 4” UV/ozone cleaner are used to remove surface contamination necessary for controlled DPN experiments and also provides manipulation of surface wettability.

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Lab

Phi Versaprobe XPS

The core technology of the VersaProbe 5000 is PHI’s patented, monochromatic, micro-focused, scanning x-ray source which provides excellent large area and superior micro-area spectroscopy performance. Spectroscopy, depth profiling, and imaging can all be performed over the full range of x-ray beam sizes including the minimum x-ray beam size of 10 μm. Multi-technique options include chemical mapping, quantitative elemental analysis, a hot/cold sample stage, and sample treatment chambers.

Unique Technology

  • Micro-focused, raster scanned x-ray beam
  • X-ray beam induced secondary electron imaging
  • XPS images with spectra at each pixel for retrospective chemical analysis
  • Point or multi-point spectroscopy
  • Point or multi-point thin film analysis

    Scan of PMMA microsphere (credit Phi Electronics, Inc.)
    Scan of PMMA microsphere (credit Phi Electronics, Inc


  • Multiple X-ray sources for small or large area analysis (dual anode Al and Mg source as well as focused X-ray source)
  • Dual beam charge neutralization for insulating samples
  • Can distinguish bonding states of elements
  • Ar ion sputter gun for depth profiling and cleaning samples