Shared MSE Research Resources
A series of state of the art centralized facilities for Materials Research are located within the department and across campus. The following equipment and technologies are available for use in Materials Science Research.
Resource Spotlight: Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility
The Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility (PRN) is a full-service center equipped with a wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation for materials analysis. Nanoscale characterization of polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, electronics, and thin films is conducted using scanning, transmission, and scanning-transmission electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and ion scattering techniques. A wide range of specimen preparation equipment is used including cryo-ultramicrotomy, jet electrolytic polishing, mechanical dimpling, ion beam thinning, tripod polishing, vacuum evaporation, sputter-coating and replication. Both analog and digital output are produced and in-house hardware and software are available for a wide range of image and spectrum processing tasks and for the calculation/simulation of electron-beam specimen interactions and microscope performance. Learn more.
Nano-Bio Interface Center (NBIC) Probe Facility
The Nano-Bio Probe Facility is a unique lab that serves as an incubator for new probes of nanostructure behavior and associated instrumentation development. It is equipped with a suite of scanning probes, opto-electronic/transport tools, and optical probes that are recently developed and not yet available on commercial instruments. Learn more.
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM):
- Polymer Characterization Facility
- Mechanical Testing Service Facility
- Optical Imaging and Micromanipulation
- Multi-Angle X-ray Scattering Facility
- Synchrotron X-Ray Scattering
- Neutron Scattering
- Cold Neutrons in Biology and Technology (CNBT)
MSE Departmental Resources:
Thermal Analysis Facility: Perkin-Elmer differential scanning calorimeter, thermal gravimetric analyzer, and differential thermal analyzer. Dynamic mechanical analyzer with measuring systems for 3-point bending, parallel plate, dual cantilever, single cantilever and extension testing.
Metallography/Optical Microscopy: Struers RotoPol-22/RotoForce-4 systems for automatic grinding and polishing; RotoCom/Multidoser unit for automatic polishing with diamond suspensions. Olympus nine station optical teaching microscope with magnifications up to 1000x and digital camera system.
Powder X-ray Diffraction: Rigaku GiegerFlex D/Max-B diffractometer with horizontal goniometer and diffracted beam curved crystal monochrometer; Scintag PAD diffractometer with high temperature/controlled atmosphere stage for in-situ studies. ICCD powder diffraction files and µPDSM search/match software for data analysis. Silicon graphics workstation with Cerius 2-4.2 modeling software for structure visualization, calculation and modeling. GE x-ray generator for Laue x-ray diffraction single crystal orientation studies.
Particle Processing Lab: Dispersion processing and sol-gel processing, powder size distributions, dilatometer (Dilatronic, Theta Industries), Adsorption measurements (Quantasorb Jr.); density/porosity measurements (Multipicnometer, Quantachrome), surface area measurement.
High Temperature Materials Processing Facility: A range of furnaces for high temperature synthesis under controlled atmosphere and vacuum environments. Single Crystal Growth: Asgal Optical Imaging Zone Melting Furnace for single crystal growth up to 2200°C; Czochralski Vacuum Crystal Puller. Thin Film Preparation; high vacuum evaporators with residual gas analyzers. Mechanical Working; Fenn rotary swager and rolling mill; cold isostatic hydraulic press to 100,000 psi; hot pressing furnace to 2300°C and 20,000 psi. Brother programmable wire electrical discharge machine, drop casting chamber, button arc melters, ball grinding mills, vibrating shaker mills.
Additional Campus Resources: