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Materials Synthesis and Characterization FacilityAll Equipment »
The Materials Synthesis and Characterization Facility includes laboratories for producing nanostructured materials and characterizing their basic structural, chemical and optical properties.
The facility staff has significant experience in solution-phase chemistry of nanocrystal/nanowire materials, inorganic synthesis by chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, and atomic layer deposition. The staff includes experts in techniques of nanoscale fabrication by self-assembly. The facility also supports infrastructure and expertise in solution-based processing of organic thin films, including tools for spin-casting, thermal processing, and UV/ozone treatment.
Analytical tools include a broad range of capabilities for structural, electrochemical, spectroscopic and thermal characterization of materials.
- Synthesis of nanostructures by chemical vapor deposition and solution-based methods Solution-based synthesis of a variety of soft, biological, hybrid, and inorganic nano-materials and functionalization routes for surfaces and nano-objects
- Self-assembly methods for polymers
- Solution-based processing of organic thin films by spin-casting and dip coating
- Preparation of DNA- and protein-based nanostructures Gel-based DNA purification, conventional and real-time PCR for DNA amplification
- Structural and functional probing of nanostructures using x-ray scattering, optical, and scanning probes methods
- Electrical characterization under various temperature, magnetic field, and illumination conditions
The electrical characterization lab hosts these major instruments:
- LakeShore Model 8404 Hall Effect Measurement System allows measurement of mobilities down to 0.001 cm2/Vs and resistances from 0.5 mWto 100 GW. Samples can be measured at room temperature and at 77 K.
- LakeShore HFTTP4 cryogenic probe station is designed for low-noise, DC to 50 MHz, measurements from 4 K up to 400 K under in-plane magnetic fields up to 1 Tesla. Optical sources can be introduced through a viewport window or a fiber optic probe arm.
- Signatone CM-170 probe station is perfect for routine electrical characterization at room temperature. It is reliable and simple to use.
- Rucker and Kolls probe station is suited for studying optoelectronic properties at room temperature. It is fitted with a with a Newport-Oriel solar spectrum simulator and optical monochromator.
- MMR's Variable Temperature Micro Probe System allows opto-electrical characterization of samples in the temperature range from 70K to 730K under controlled atmosphere (inert, vacuum etc.) and light condition.
- MBE-Komponenten AO500 high-temperature probe station for rapid thermal annealing (up to 500 °C) in vacuum (2 mbar) or in a gas mixture atmosphere (Ar, H2 and N2 regulated by mass flow controllers). The system also allows optical access to the sample and in-situ electrical characterization.
- Kulicke & Soffa Model 4526 wire wedge bonder.
Inorganic Materials Synthesis
Inorganic nanomaterials synthesis and characterization capabilities include solution-phase and chemical vapor deposition methods, electrochemical deposition, x-ray diffraction, thermal measurement equipment, and oxygen-free processing environments. An electrochemistry workstation (Princeton Applied Research Parastat 2273-SYS Potentiostat) which is used for general electrochemistry synthesis and measurements.
The X-ray diffractometer (Rigaku Miniflex II) is a basic powder diffractometer for phase identification. Thermal measurement equipment, Thermogravimetry/ Differential Thermal Analyzer/ Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TG/DTA/DSC), has simultaneous DTA/TGA and DSC capabilities for analyzing reactions and phase transitions. The glovebox (M. Braun Labmaster 130) is used for processing air and moisture sensitive materials.
Macromolecular and Nanomaterial Synthesis & Assembly
Capabilities include techniques and methods required for the synthesis, fabrication and study of novel hybrid structures and functionalities using regulated nanoscale assembly and self-organization approaches. Capabilities and expertise include solution-based synthesis and characterization (FTIR Thermo Scientific Nicolet 6700, Circular Dichroism Spectrometer - Jasco J-815,HPLC, Quantitative PCR) of a variety of soft, biological, hybrid and inorganic nanomaterials, advanced functionalization routes for surfaces and nano-objects, selective biomolecular recognition and DNA scaffolding.
The group supports a thin-film materials processing laboratory outside the cleanroom environment, which includes facilities for air-free materials processing and atomic layer deposition (ALD) of inorganic thin films. The laboratory also includes small, versatile versions of the Nanofabrication Facility toolset such as facilities for organic film deposition by spin-coating and thermal processing in vacuum or inert gas environments. A March Plasma CS1701F reactive ion etch tool supports SF6, CHF3, CF4, CF3Br, and O2 gas chemistries. Metal film deposition by thermal evaporation and DC magnetron sputtering is supported by a Kurt J. Lesker PVD75 tool. The laboratory includes chemical fume hoods and optical microscopes for sample processing and inspection.
Structural and Spectroscopic Probing
In-situ structural characterization can be performed for surfaces, thin films nanoparticles, biological complexes, nanofabricated structures and hybrid composites under environmental condition. We utilize the range of x-ray (Rigaku Ultima III), optical (Ellipsometer J.A. Woollam M-2000 , Dynamic Light Scattering with Zeta Potential - Malvern Zetasizer Nano) , spectroscopic (Photon Counting Spectrofluorometer - ISS PC1/K2, Uv-Vis/NIR Spectrophotometer - PerkinElmer Lambda 950) and scanning probe methods (Asylum Research MFP-3D) for structure characterization.
- Customized capabilities for exfoliating 2D (atomically-thin) monolayers from parent van der Walls crystals.
3-Tesla Cryogenic Micromanipulated Probe Station:
The Janis ST-3T-2 is a continuous flow, vertical field, superconducting magnet micromanipulated probe station.
The tool is a compact magnetron sputtering system designed for the sputtering deposition of metal and dielectric thin films. It is equipped with four RF sputtering sources and supports co-deposition of two materials at the same time.
Atomic Layer Deposition Tool:
The tool (Cambridge Nanotech Savannah100) includes precursors for atomically precise growth of thin films of Al2O3, ZnO, TiO2, VOx, HfO2, and Pt, at growth temperatures as high as 300 °C.
Electrospray Deposition (ESD) System:
This first-of-its kind instrument deposits soft and hybrid material thin films with programmable composition and/or thickness profiles by electrospraying from solution. Up to three separate solutions can be sprayed simultaneously onto heated substrates to generate binary and ternary composition profiles.
Veeco Fiji F200:
The PEALD tool is capable to depositing uniform, conformal thin films of various metallic, metal oxide, and metal nitride. It supports both conventional thermal ALD and plasma enhanced ALD. It is equipped with a quartz crystal microbalance for in-situ monitoring of thin film growth rate and accumulated thickness and a mesh pocket holder for deposition on powdered samples.
Room-temperature Hall Effect Measurement System:
This system is with available DC and AC measurement modes.
The JEOL JSM-7600F is a state-of-the-art thermal FE-SEM combining high resolution imaging with optimized analytical functionality.
High-Temperature/Annealing Probe Station:
This probe station can perform rapid thermal annealing (up to 500 °C) in vacuum (2 mbar) or in a gas mixture atmosphere.
Helios Nanolab 600:
In-situ electrical characterization in SEM/FIB
The Miniflex II is capable of characterizing thin films, bulk powders, and surfaces.
- The stacker is a robotic motion system that precisely handles stamp-supported flakes and substrates for the stacking procedure to fabricate heterostructures.
Photovoltaic Dev Characterization Sys - customized electrical probe station w/150W solar simulator, calibrated Si solar cell std
Photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical device measurement system.
Photovoltaic Extrnl Quantum Efficiency Measurement Sys w/300W xenon arc lamp, monochromator, Si diode power meter, & precision
External quantum efficiency measurement system.
Dynacool 12T PPMS:
The PPMS performs low voltage DC and low frequency AC (< 200 Hz) electrical measurements from 0.35 K to 400 K under 0-12 T magnetic field.
This thin film deposition system (Kurt J. Lesker PVD75) is used for the synthesis of inorganic thin films by thermal evaporation and DC magnetron sputtering.
The pulsed laser deposition system (PVD Products PLD-MBE 2300) is used for synthesis of complex metal oxides or nitride thin-films by laser ablation.
Room Temp Probe Station:
The Signatone CM-170 has four high quality micromanipulated probes for DC and low-frequency electrical characterization.
This scanning electron microscope (Hitachi 4800 SEM) is a cold field emission instrument capable of 1.5 nm resolution at 15 kV and 2.5 nm resolution at 1 kV.
The SaxsLabs Small Angle X-ray Scattering instrument investigates the structure of materials from angstroms to ~200 nm length scales by providing SAXS/GISAXS and WAXS capabilities.
Thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD):
System for ultrathin, conformal coatings of high-quality dielectric materials and electroactive metal oxides
The MMR VTMP spans the temperature range from 70 to 730 Kelvin under controlled atmosphere and optical excitation.
The wedge bonder Kulicke & Soffa 4526 has semi-automatic and manual operation modes, and also individual bond parameters.
- Detecting 2D material flakes automatically engaged with optical image, Raman and AFM
SmartLab Universal Diffractometer:
Rigaku SmartLab is a universal diffractometer capable of characterizing thin films, bulk powders, and surfaces.
- The solvent vapor annealer is an instrument design for controlled swelling of polymer and other soft matter thin films by solvent vapors (e.g., THF, acetone). Automated swelling profiles can be programmed based on feedback control of nitrogen purge gas or substrate temperature using customized software.
This is advanced testing equipment for research and development of energy storage or electrochemical devices, such as batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells.
Cell culture, cold room, gel electrophoresis and DNA imaging.
Centrifuges, shakers, mixers, sonicators:
Available to provide fast separate substances and shaking or vortexing with tough metal housing at high speed, which is ideal for small volume liquid processing.
Jasco J-815 Circular Dichroism (CD) Spectropolarimeter:
Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy measures differences in the absorption of left-handed polarized light versus right-handed polarized light that arise due to structural asymmetry.
The Perkin-Elmer Pyris Diamond DSC is used to perform differential scanning calorimetry measurements under helium purging in the temperature range of -170 °C to 300 °C
Malvern Zeta Sizer Nano Series:
This instrument (Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS and Zeta Potential) measures the size (0.6 nm to 6000 nm) and zeta potential of dispersed particles in solution using a 633 nm He-Ne laser.
Asylum Cypher AFM ES VRS:
Atomic force microscope with environmental control and video-rate capabilities.
This AFM (Asylum MFP-3D-BIOsystem) provides low noise performance with closed loop sensors in all three axes.
Olympus Polarized Microscope:
Upright microscope for routine epifluorescent, polarized and bright field or dark field imaging.
Nicolet 6700 FT-IR Spectrometer:
Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectrometer.
CFN Manufactured Flow Coater:
The flow coater is a compact apparatus for casting uniform films of nanoparticles, molecules, or polymers from solution with user-designed film thickness increments or gradients.
Discovery HR-3 Rheometer:
The instrument is designed to measure mechanical/rheological properties of soft materials, including gels, liquids, and assemblies of macromolecules or nanoparticles at air-liquid interfaces.
The LightCycler® 480 system enables you to perform real-time, online PCR combined with rapid cycling of up to 96 or 384 samples.
The instrument provides characterization of nanoparticle sizes and diffusion in liquids.
ISS PC1/K2 Fluorometer:
This fluorometer (ISS PC1 Multifrequency Cross-Correlation Phase and Modulation Fluorometer) is capable of steady state and lifetime measurements (from 1 millisecond to 1 picosecond).
This tool (March Plasma CS1701F) is used for radio frequency (RF) plasma etching of organic and inorganic thin films using combinations of six process gases (SF6, CF4, CHF3, O2, Ar, and CF3Br).
This ellipsometer (J.A. Woollam M-2000 Spectroscopic Ellipsometer) allows analysis and mapping of thin films and interfaces, with temperature control in air and liquids.
Laurell WS-650-23 Spin Coater:
This tool is used for forming organic thin films from solution. System includes a spin coater with variable spin speed/acceleration (between ~500-6000 RPM). It is located in the 6 foot wide hood (1L-10-1) (with HEPA filtration on the hood exhaust), suitable for nanomaterial processing.
Cressington 208HR Coater:
This benchtop DC sputter coater deposits thin noble metal films (Au, AuPd, or Pt) by DC sputtering. It is typically used for preparing samples for scanning electron microscopy.
The Perkin-Elmer Pyris Diamond TGA/DTA is used to perform thermogravimetric and differential thermal analytic measurements.
PerkinElmer UV-Vis Lambda 25:
PerkinElmer Lambda 950:
In addition to liquid sample measurements, the instrument is equipped for studies of films and powders in specular and diffuse scattering regimes.
Capabilities required for the synthesis, fabrication and study of novel hybrid structures and functionalities.