Nanomaterial Synthesis and Functionalization

Advanced Deposition Chamber (Custom in-house built)

The system can deposit multi-layers of 12 different materials or a composite of five different materials. It is interfaced with a glove box for handling moisture-sensitive materials. This equipment enables the deposition of materials using three techniques: electron beam vapor deposition, effusion cell thermal evaporation, and sputtering.

Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (Custom in-house built)

This system uses an unconventional evaporation method of target formation and laser evaporation to grow thin films. It has a liquid nitrogen-cooled target holder that enables the target material to be dissolved and frozen at the cryogenic temperature. Undegraded deposition of the cryogenically prepared targets by laser evaporation in vacuum is possible in this system. This technique is highly suitable for controlled deposition of biological materials, such as protein and enzymes, which cannot be deposited using conventional high-temperature-based evaporation techniques, as the high temperature could degrade the molecules.

Pulsed Laser Deposition System (Custom in-house built)

This system is a thin film deposition technique where a high power pulsed laser beam is focused inside a vacuum chamber to strike a target of the material to be deposited. This material is vaporized from the target. which deposits it as a thin film on a substrate. This process can occur in ultra-high vacuum or in the presence of a background gas, such as oxygen, which is commonly used when depositing oxides to fully oxygenate the deposited films.

Plasma Etching System (MCS Plasma Systems)

This tool is used in the production of semiconductor devices. It produces a plasma from a process gas. A silicon wafer is placed in the plasma etcher, and the air is evacuated from the process chamber using a system of vacuum pumps. Then, a process gas is introduced at low pressure and excited into a plasma through dielectric breakdown.

Radio Frequency Chemical Vapor Deposition System (DOD TATRC 1, W81XWH-10-2-0130)

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the process of depositing films or nanoparticles by reacting chemical vapors on a substrate or catalysts. CVD reaction is activated by RF energy (radio frequency heating). This system is also used to synthesize various carbon nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, or different catalyst systems. In the biological application, nanoparticles or nanomaterials uptaken into cancer cells can be heated by the RF generator; as a result, the cells reach a certain temperature and apoptosis and cell death occur.

  • 350 kHz, 5-kW RF generator coupled to a synthesis reactor.

Glove Box/Deposition Chamber, LC Technologies, Angstrom Engineering CoVap II

The glove box is a sealed container designed for the manipulation of objects where an inert atmosphere (<1-ppm O2 and <1-ppm H2O) is desired. Gloves are built into the sides of the glove box so that the user can place his hands into the gloves and perform tasks inside the box without breaking containment to the external environment. The integrated deposition system (Angstrom CoVap II) allows for deposition of metals and other materials by thermal evaporation. The CoVap II allows the user to deposit materials (up to 2 currently) individually, sequentially, or simultaneously.

Photo Current Density Measurement System (Princeton Applied Research)

This system is used to characterize photo-electro-chemical (PEC) solar cells by measuring the current output of a PEC device under simulated solar light. This technique helps determine the efficiency of PEC solar cells and can measure their photo-corrosion properties under electrolytes.

Two-Electrode Anodizer (Custom in-house built)

Anodizing is the process used to increase the thickness of natural oxide on the surface of metals. This equipment is set up for the growth of metal-oxide nanostructures.

Contact Angle Measurements System with High Speed Camera (Kruss-USA)

This system analyzes the wettability of surfaces. It can also measure the surface tension of liquids and the surface energy of materials. The high-speed camera (up to 100,000 fps) attachment helps in studying the bouncing properties of liquids on a surface.

Thin Film Measurement System, Reflectometer, Filmetric F20

The F20 instrument is a general purpose film thickness measurement tool. For standard films, for which one optical constant is known, this is a quick method to evaluate film thickness. The analysis can be done in reflectance or transmission modes. Many times, both thickness and refractive index can be measured in seconds or less.

Single Column Universal Electromechanical Testing Machine with EP2 Digital Controller & Guage Safe Basic Testing Software

This instrument is used for testing the mechanical properties such as tensile modulus, tensile yield strength, tensile strength at break and elongation of plastics (thin polymer films).