Analytical Instrumentation

In order to utilize analytical instrumentation, researchers must be trained and certified by the CINS Director of Instrumentation, Dr. Fumiya Watanabe. For more information, please contact him at fxwatanabe@ualr.edu or 501.683.7456.

Ultramicrotome, Leica UC7

The Ultramicrotome uses a diamond knife to produce ultra-thin sections of biological/soft samples, such as resin embedded cells and bioscaffolds, which are thin enough to be observed in TEM. This device can also be used to prepare samples for SEM, AFM, and optical microscopy.

Atomic Force Microscope, Bruker Dimension-Icon with FastScan (Peak Force)

CINS obtained NSF funding for this new AFM instrument (Bruker-Nano), installed in early September 2016, which can analyze the morphologies and elastic properties of various materials, with resolution down to the atomic level. The FastScan capability allows us to monitor both morphological and mechanical changes that take place within a material’s structure in real time under variable conditions in 3D. The instrument also has the ability to monitor cellular proliferation and migration on a variety of composite surfaces.

Scanning Electron Microscope, JEOL JSM – 7000F

The JSM-7000F is equipped with a field emission gun, which enables ultra-high resolution secondary electron imaging (maximum ~1.2 nm at 30 kV). It is capable of imaging with acceleration voltage down to 1 kV, which allows imaging of soft materials such as biological cells and bioscaffolds. It is also equipped with a multi-purpose specimen chamber; a motorized, automated specimen stage; and one-action specimen exchange, with the following optional capabilities:

  • BEI detector for backscattered elastic electron detection
  • Energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer and electron back-scattered diffraction by EDAX for elemental analysis and elemental mapping of samples
  • E-beam lithography by JC Nabity

Transmission Electron Microscope, JEOL JEM – 2100F

The JEM-2100F, equipped with a Schottky field emission gun, features ultrahigh resolution (0.1-nm lattice resolution) and rapid data acquisition. The imaging can be performed at 200 kV, 120 kV, 100 kV, and 80 kV, enabling atomic level analysis of materials for biology, medicine, chemistry, materials science, and solid-state physics. The side-entry goniometer stage provides ease-of-use tilt, rotation, heating and cooling, and programmable multi-point settings without mechanical drift. With an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer by EDAX, near atomic resolution elemental mapping of the sample is possible under Scanning TEM (STEM) imaging mode.

Inverted Digital Microscope, Fischer Scientific Micromaster

The inverted microscope is ideal for live cell observation. This model features infinity-corrected optics, as well as bright-field and phase contrast illumination techniques.

X-Ray Diffractometer, Bruker D8-Discover

The Bruker D8 Discovery diffractometer equipped with Cu K X-ray source can analyze very small sample quantities (capable of ~0.5-mm diameter spot) and inhomogeneous or oriented samples of complex shape geometry. This instrument provides information on structures, sizes, textures, and inhomogeneity of crystals. It is utilized to characterize both nano- and micro-particles, thin films, and macroscopic samples such as bioscaffolds and polymers.

  • GADDS detector (2D wire detector)/Vantech-500 solid state 2D detector will be installed in the Fall of 2017.
  • Point Detector (scintillation detector)
  • Vertical Eularian Cradle
  • Laser-video alignment system

Raman, Horiba Jobin Yvon LabRam 800

The Horiba HR 800 LabRam system, equipped with 1800 and 600 grooves/mm holographic gratings, is a high-resolution Raman spectrometer. Three laser excitations (514 nm, 633 nm, and 784 nm) can be used to analyze samples, and the spectra are collected in the back-scattering geometry with the help of a confocal Raman microscope, equipped with Olympus objectives (100x, 50x, 10x). The Raman microscope can analyze a wide variety of samples, from semiconductors and minerals to biological samples. Sample analysis utilizing surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with specifically designed nanoagents is often performed, with this system enabling high resolution detection of biological cells.

  • Laser spot diameter of about 1 μm
  • Peltier-cooled CCD camera detection system for data acquisition

Surface Area Analyzer, Micromeritics ASAP 2020

The Accelerated Surface Area and Porosimetry analyzer measures surface areas by absorbing different gasses at cryogenic temperature. Data obtained by this equipment is used to characterize the active and support surfaces of catalysts, to determine the high surface areas of adsorbents, and to determine the microporosity and hydrogen storage capacity of various nanomaterials, such as our bioscaffolds. Materials with relatively low surface areas such as powdered metals, glass fibers, and natural organic materials can also be analyzed.

  • Two Independent vacuum systems that allow preparation and analysis to occur concurrently
  • Oil-free “dry” vacuum option to prevent oil contamination

Spectrofluorometer, Horiba NanoLog

The NanoLog series of spectrofluorometers are specifically designed for research in nanotechnology and the frontiers of nanomaterials. The NanoLog detects fluorescence in the near-infrared from 800 to 1700 nm. A complete spectrum can be scanned in as quickly as a few milliseconds, and a full excitation-emission matrix scan can be taken in as little as seconds. Data from this instrument is used for classifying single-walled nanotubes, performing energy transfer calculations, and saving custom routines and instrument layouts.

Spectrophotometer, Shimadzu 3600 UV-Vis-NIR

This tool has an optional integrated sphere and is designed to measure optical transmission, absorption, and reflectivity for both liquid and solid samples from the UV to IR range. Optical properties of nanoagents such as nanoparticles and nanorods are often measured by it. This model is equipped with 2 light sources (Tungsten and Deuterium lamps) and 3 detectors:

  • PMT detector (photomultiplier tube) for ultraviolet and visible regions
  • PbS detector for near infrared regions, where sensitivity is typically low
  • InGaAs detector for near infrared regions, this detector bridges the gap between the PMT–PbS to ensure high sensitivity over the entire measurement wavelength range

Spectroscopic Ellipsometry, Horiba Uvisel

The spectroscopic ellipsometer is used to measure the dielectric properties (complex refractive index or dielectric function) of thin films by measuring the changes in polarization upon reflection
and/or transmittance by comparing it to a model. The modeling also enables determination of film thickness. It can analyze electronic thin films and provides fast data acquisition and high accuracy.

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Thermo K-Alpha XPS System

This system is a fully integrated x-ray photoelectron spectrometer with a monochromated Al K(1486.7 eV) x-ray source with spot size from 50 to 400 microns. This device can obtain both the binding energies and Auger kinetic energies of almost all elements to determine the elemental composition, chemical states, and work function of a material. It is equipped with a neutralization capability to suppress the charging effects on insulating materials. It is also capable of depth profiling by ion (Ar+) etching. The system is utilized to analyze nanoparticles, thin films (metals, semiconductors, ceramics, and polymers), and polymer bioscaffolds.

Hall Effect Analyzer, Ecopia HMS-5000

The Hall Effect Analyzer measures concentration, mobility, and resistivity of the charge carriers, all in relation to temperature. The system is used to characterize electrical properties of various materials and semiconductors.

PVE300 Spectral Responsivity/Quantum Efficiency Analyzer, Bentham Instruments

Quantum efficiency (QE) is the measurement of a device’s electrical response to light. Since the energy of a photon depends on its wavelength, QE is often measured over a range of wavelengths to characterize a device’s efficiency at each photon energy.

Thermogravimetric Analysis/Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Mettler Toledo (TGA/DSC3+)

This equipment determines variations of sample weight in relation to temperature in a controlled atmosphere; the corresponding analysis identifies degradation temperatures, absorbed moisture content, the level of inorganic and organic components, and solvent residues.

  • FACT automatic weight calibration integrated in the micro- and ultramicro-balances
  • FlexCal automatically corrects for heating rate, type of crucible, module, and purge gas
  • Gas-tight measuring cell as basis for definable measurement environment
  • Wide sample range, up to 900 μl

Differential Scanning Calorimeter 823e, Mettler-Toledo

This instrument measures heat transfer. The unique sensor design results in a combination of performance features such as flat baselines, high sensitivity, and excellent peak resolution.