Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Laboratory (AIMLab)

JEOL 2100F
Location: 1237 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building

The Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Laboratory (AIMLab; formerly known as the Nanoscale Imaging, Spectroscopy, and Properties Laboratory [NISPLab]), directed by Dr. Wen-An Chiou, is focused on nanoscale characterization of materials and structures generated in Maryland NanoCenter research laboratories or in the FabLab complex. It features high resolution transmission electron microscopy, secondary electron microscopy, scanning Auger microscopy, and scanning probe techniques for atomic- and nano-scale characterization. It is located in a section of the Kim Building designed for low vibration so that best possible spatial resolution can be achieved from the instruments there. The AIMLab is adjacent to and integrated with the Keck Laboratory for Combinatorial Nanosynthesis and Multiscale Characterization.

AIMLab's equipment includes:

  • A Hitachi SU-70 field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) equipped with an energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDS)
  • A JEOL 2100F atomic-resolution field emission transmission electron microscope (FE-TEM)
  • A JEM 2100 LaB6 transmission electron microscope (TEM) equipped with fiber optic, video-rate imaging
  • A JEOL JXA-89 electron microprobe equipped with a wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectrometer (WDS)

Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory

Location: Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory houses our Nicolet Series II Magna-IR System 550 FTIR microscope. FTIR, an acronym for Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), may also be called infrared or IR spectroscopy. FTIR spectroscopy is an absorption technique, a kind of vibrational spectroscopy, and uses chemically-specific analysis.

Infrared spectroscopy detects the vibration characteristics of chemical functional groups in a sample. When an infrared light interacts with the matter, chemical bonds will stretch, contract and bend. A chemical functional group tends to adsorb infrared radiation in a specific wavenumber range regardless of the structure of the rest of the molecule. As a result, the correlation of the band wavenumber position with the chemical structure can be used used to identify functional group (chemical compounds and substituent groups) in a sample.

Light Scattering Center

Light Scattering Equipment
Location: Room B0110, IPST Building

The goal of the Light Scattering Center is to promote research, education, and commerce in new fields of physical and engineering sciences. The activities of the Center aim to help researchers and educators from within the University and from within the local region, by providing them with instrumentation facilities and scholarly expertise in static and dynamic light scattering technique. We are currently using multi-angle static and dynamic light scattering spectrometers from Photocor Instruments.

Materials Characterization Laboratory

Location: Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building

The Materials Characterization Laboratory houses our ElectroScan E3 environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), used for surface analytical imaging of uncoated samples. Samples can be observed under various environments (water vapor, air and other gases). Heating and cooling holders are available for in-situ scanning electron microscopy in temperatures ranging from -190° C to +400° C. A straining holder is available for failure analysis under applied stress.

Nanoscale Imaging, Spectroscopy, and Properties Laboratory 2 (NISPLab2)

NISPLab 2's NTegra Spectra NT-MDT
Location: 1237 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building

The NISPLab2, directed by Dr. Wen-An Chiou, expands the characterization capabilities of NISPLab with 1800 ft2 of additional, refurbished space in the Energy Research Facility across the street from the Kim Building (the location of the original NISPLab). It features an optical and nanoprobe instrumentation suite, a focused ion beam system for nanofabrication and TEM cross-section preparation, a high resolution SEM, and sample preparation facilities.

The optical and nanoprobe instrumentation suite includes three systems: 

  • The NT-MDT system has scanning probe microscopy (SPM) capabilities based on two SPM platforms, one an inverted microscope and the other an upright microscope, allowing a broad variety of SPM modes as well as electrochemical characterization and wet cell sample configurations. In addition, a micro Raman system can be utilized with either SPM/microscope setup for micro-Raman spectroscopy and mapping, tip-enhanced Raman, or scanning near-field optical/Raman microscopy. 
  • The optical spectroscopy system is based on a Horiba Jobin-Yvon spectrometer with CCD camera for simultaneous full-spectrum capture, and is configured for a variety of light sources and sample configurations to accommodate reflectance, transmission/absorption, photoluminescence, and other modes. 
  • The FTIR system supports molecular spectroscopy of materials and nanostructures.

University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC)

Location: Engineering Lab Building

The University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) is a multidisciplinary initiative dedicated to advancing the frontiers of energy science and technology, with a special focus on forward-looking approaches for alternative energy generation and storage. UMERC brings together the research capabilities necessary to create a sustainable energy future, with faculty expertise in both energy technology and policy.

UMERC's facilities include conventional and cutting-edge, thick- and thin-film ceramic processing equipment; test facilities for fuel cell, sensor, and membrane reactor setups with controlled gas streams, and on-line GC/MS gas analysis. Ceramic processing and fabrication equipment includes a ProCast continuous tape castor, Carver heated lamination press, complete powder synthesis and processing lab, ball mills, a fully automated DEK screen-printer with vision system and feedback control. The facility's furnaces capable of ceramic processing up to 1750°C. Cell/membrane test equipment includes: computer interfaced potentiostat/ impedance analyzers (Solartron and PAR), sample holders (SOFC, membranes, sensors, etc.) with shielded leads inside temperature-controlled furnaces. Both the electrochemical test equipment and the temperature programmed reaction/desorption (TPR/TPD) apparatus are configured with gas manifolding (mass flow controllers) and gas analysis (mass spectrometer and gas chromatograph). These laboratories also include equipment for thermochemical and thermomechanical analysis, including a Cahn microbalance and a Theta dilatometer, both with temperature and gas environment control.