Sample Preparation

  • Allied High Tech MultiPrep System

    The MultiPrep system is a precise polishing instrument which can be used to prepare a wide range of materials for optical, SEM, TEM, and AFM evaluation. Additional capabilities include parallel polishing, wedge polishing (TEM), and targeted material removal.

  • Buehler Ecomet 250

    Basic Grinder/Polisher unit for surface preparation. Typically used to prepare materials for optical and SEM observation, hardness testing, tribological testing, etc…

  • Buehler Ecomet 250/Automet 250

    Grinder/polisher unit with power head for semi-automatic preparation of multiple samples or larger samples which can mounted to large platen. Typically used for the preparation of smooth surfaces for optical and SEM analysis or other applications where surface finish must be controlled, such as prior to film deposition or for tribological testing of materials.

  • Triple Ion Beam Slope Cutter (Leica TIC3X)

    The Triple Ion Beam Slope Cutter/Cross-sectional Polisher is an instrument for preparing stress free cross sections of hard to polish samples such as porous, brittle or heterogeneous samples for SEM, EDS, WDS, Auger, EBSD and AFM analysis.  Cross sectional areas prepared by the milling process are on the order of a few mm square.  The TIC3X is equipped with a cooling stage for processing heat sensitive materials.

  • Anton Paar MCR 302 Rheometer

    The Anton Paar MCR302 Rheometer is used to characterize the flow properties of softer materials such as liquids and gels in response to a torsional deformation.  Properties examined include viscosity, glass transition, curing, and rate dependent viscoelastic properties.


    Several parallel plate and cone and plate fixtures are available for use with the rheometer. In addition, double gap and concentric cylinder fixtures are available for characterization of very low viscosity fluids.

  • Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer, RSA-G2 Solids Analyzer

    The TA Instruments RSA-G2 Solids Analyzer is capable of performing a range of mechanical testing measurements including dynamic mechanical analysis, creep and recovery, stress relaxation, stress ramp, strain rate ramps, iso-strain, iso-force, and fatigue as well as some user specified multi-wave test functions.


    Please see RSA-G2 brochure for full list of features.

    Available accessories include:

    • tension
    • compression
    • single and dual cantilever
    • 3 point bending

    Temperature range -150°C to 500°C.

    Maximum load +/-35N.

  • Optotherm Micro Thermal Imaging System

    The Micro thermal imaging system measures and displays the temperature distribution over the surface of small samples and devices.  The enables quick detection of hot spots and thermal gradients.


    Lens Options available for use range from macroscope down to 5μm/pixel spatial resolution.  Heating stage is available for heating up to 130°C. Thermal sensitivity 0.3°C.

  • Semetrol Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy System

    Advanced semiconductor spectroscopy system.

    • Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy and related methods.
    • Thermal Admittance Spectroscopy
    • Current-Voltage-Temperature Characterization
    • Photocapacitance
  • Thorlabs Ganymede Spectral Domain OCT imaging System

    Optical Coherence Tomography is the optical equivalent of ultrasound.  OCT provides 1D, 2D and 3D volumetric imaging.  With the 900 nm laser of the GAN220C1 system, imaging depths of up to 1.9 mm in air and 1.4 mm in water are possible.

Thermal Analysis

  • Mettler Toledo TGA/DSC3+ Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer

    Simultaneous Thermal Analysis instrument for simultaneous TGA and DSC measurements.  Temperature range to 1600°C.

  • TA Instruments DSC250

    Differential Scanning Calorimetry.  Measure temperature changes of a substance with respect to a reference temperature which occur during a controlled temperature program and in a defined gas atmosphere.


  • Nikon Eclipse MA200

    Inverted light microscope with bright field, dark field, DIC and polarizing modes.  Motorized stage for automated image stitching and z-stack (extended depth of field).  NIS Elements Basic Research software package.

  • Olympus 3D Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope

    The Olympus LEXT OLS5000 measuring laser microscope provides high resolution surface topography and shape analysis for a wide range of materials applications. The technique is non-contact, non-destructive and is capable of providing data over an extended volume (x, y and z). The microscope is equipped with both color imaging optics (white light microscopy) and laser confocal optics. The short wavelength laser (405nm) offers considerable improvements in lateral resolution (120nm in x and y) over white light microscopy. Depth resolution is ~4nm. Of particular interest to users is the ability to measure the shape and surface topography of transparent and highly reflective materials,the ability to measure film thickness and interface height with high resolution, and ability to characterize steep walls.


    The motorized stage allows for 3D measurements over an area 100mm X 100mm. Auto-focusing and long working distance lenses allow for overall height measurement in the tens of millimeters. With the extended frame, objects as tall as 210mm can be placed on the sample stage allowing researchers to place small experimental devices on the stage for imaging during testing. The quantifiable 3D surface measurement tools (such as line roughness, area roughness) available with the software are compliant with international standards.

  • Nikon Epiphot Inverted Microscopy

    • Bright field/Dark field
    • Polarizing observation mode
    • Magnification 45 – 1500X
    • Equipped with digital camera for image capture
  • Wild M3Z Stereoscope

    • Produces a spatial image of three-dimensional objects
    • Magnification 65 – 600X
    • Equipped with digital camera for image capture
  • Nikon Upright Microscope with Mettler Toledo FP82HT Hot Stage

    The Mettler Toledo FP82 Hot Stage is used to observe the thermal behavior of a sample under a microscope.  Heats to 375°C.  Nikon microscope is equipped with camera for video (time versus temperature with image) capture.

Cutting/Sectioning Saws

  • Struers Accutom 5

    Struers Accutom 5 precision cut-off machine.

    • positioning accuracy of 5 µm
    • pre-set, constant feed speed (0.005 to 3 mm/sec)
    • adjustable force limit
    • variable cut-off wheel speed up to 3,000 rpm
  • Allied High Tech, Tech Cut 5

    Multi-purpose precision sectioning saw.


    Multi-purpose precision sectioning saw.  Multiple sample holder fixtures (vise, multi-purpose holder, double saddle, mount holder) are available for use with this saw to cut samples of varying configurations.  An attachment for dicing 4″ Si wafer is also available.  Saw accomodates blades with 1/2″ or 1.25″ arbor hole.  A selection of abrasive blades and diamond blade are available for use with this saw.

  • Buehler Isomet Low Speed Saw


    Precision, low speed (300 rpm) saw for small sample sectioning.

  • Tile Saw

    Rough cutting of larger ceramic pieces.


  • Struers LaboPress

    The LaboPress is a hot mounting device which applies heat and pressure to a sample placed in a cylinder within an appropriate resin.  Hot mounting is desirable for superior edge retention and for preparing mounts which are uniform in size and shape.

  • Struers Epovac

    The Struers Epovac is used for the mounting and impregnation of porous samples.

Hardness Testing

  • Struers Duramin 5

    Microprocessor controlled hardness tester.  Can be used with either Vickers or Knoop indenter.

  • Wilson Rockwell Hardness Tester


  • Carbolite High Temperature Tube Furnace

    Carbolite CTF 17/300 High Temperature Tube Furnace (1700°C)

    • Maximum Temperature 1700°C
    • Tube Length 650 mm
    • Heated Length 300 mm
    • Uniform Length 200 mm (+/- 5°C)
    • Tube Diameter 76 mm
  • Blue M 48" Tube Furnace

    • Maximum Temperature 1200°C
    • Tube Diameter 57 mm
  • Box Furnaces

    • Blue M Partlow Gray Box Furnace (50 – 350°C)
    • Barnstead Thermolyne Small Box Furnace ( to 1100°C)
    • Lindberg Hevi-Duty Box Furnace (200 – 1200°C)
    • Blue M Box Furnace (800 – 1500°C)