Major Equipment
AFM/NSOM Microscope Dual Glovebox ESR Spectrometer Low Temperature Probe Station
Other Equipment
Grinding Mill Research Centrifuge Spin Processor Tube Furnace Ultra-High Vacuum AFM/STM Ultrasonic Cleaner Ultrasonic Processor UV-Visible Spectrophotometer Vacuum Filtration Apparatus


AFM/NSOM Microscope

WITec GmbH

The AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) / NSOM (Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy) system is a piece of equipment that rarely gets downtime in our group. Its short turnaround time means the AFM/NSOM does the bulk of our sample characterization work. As an AFM microscope, topographical images of the sample surface are produced by moving a nanometer sized imaging tip across the sample close enough to the sample so that intermolecular forces repel the tip away from the sample. As a NSOM microscope, a laser is shown through an extremely small aperature and collected to produce images of the sample with higher resolutions than any optical microscope can offer.

Dual Glovebox + Integrated Thermal Evaporator + DC-bias Radio-Frequency Sputtering System + Electrical Probe Station with AM1.5 Solar Simulator

Vacuum Atmospheres Co.

The glovebox is a controlled environment where experimenters use the built in gloves to manipulate objects inside the box. Solar cell fabrication utilizes the pure nitrogen atmosphere to minimize the risk of oxidation or occurring to any delicate components.

ESR Spectrometer


The ESR (Electron Spin Resonance) spectrometer is used to detect the prescence of and identify certain highly reactive chemicals known as free radicals.

Other Equipment

Grinding Mill

Model 4E
QCG Systems, LLC

Nanoparticle size has a great impact on the properties nanoparticles have. Samples that have passed through industrial processing may have larger particle size tolerances than we do. Our grinder can help control solid particle size in our samples.

Research Centrifuge

Centurion Scientific Ltd.

Liquid samples with suspended solids can be centrifuged to separate the solids from the liquids. This centrifuge has a maximum speed of 10,000 rpm. Our group uses centrifugation on samples where particle size matters, as even within nanoparticles there can be particles too large to have the properties we need.

Spin Processor

Laurell Technologies Corp.

Many semiconductor devices are composed of thin film multilayers. A spin coater is used to spread a layer of coating material onto a substrate through the centrifugal force generated from spinning. Group members working on semiconducting devices will find the spin coater fast and easy to use, making it invaluable.

Tube Furnace

Barnstead Thermolyne Corp.

This furnace has a maximum temperature of 1,200 °C, making it applicable to a variety of experiments that can be conducted in air. The tubular shape allows for glass tubes that are part of an external experiment to be passed through.

Ultra-High Vacuum AFM/STM

Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

Ultrasonic Cleaner

Branson DHA-1000
Emerson Electric Co.

Our bath sonicator is the workhorse of countless experiments. Any item put into the 10 gallon water bath is blasted with 40kHz ultrasound to agitate and dislodge any small particles adhering to a surface. The DHA-1000, while designed for cleaning, is also effective at dispersing solid nanoparticles into liquids, making it an essential piece of equipment to nearly all group members' research.

Ultrasonic Processor

CP750 and CV334
Cole-Parmer Instrument Company, LLC.

Similar to the Ultrasonic Cleaner, this sonicator uses ultrasound waves to disperse solid nanoparticles into liquid. However, this sonicator works by submerging a metal tip vibrating at 40kHz into the sample liquid. The high wattage output of this sonicator means that samples are sonicated much faster than what can be achieved with a bath sonicator.

UV-Visible Spectrophotometer

DMS 80
Varian Inc.

Spectrophotometry is a quick way to characterize thickness of a solid sample or concentration in a liquid sample. The DMS 80, in conjunction with a computer, provides the ability to measure transmittance of solid and liquid samples as a function of either wavelength or time.

Vacuum Filtration Apparatus + 2D Material Thin Film Deposition Apparatus


Vacuum filtration is the technique used to deposit thin films of various nanomaterials onto a filter. From the filter, materials can be transferred to their final substrate. It is vacuum filtration that allows us to extract nanoparticles from liquid suspension to produce characterizable materials. It is also a core component of our water filtration research. Given its ubiquitous nature, vacuum filtration is a simple yet critical part of our research.