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Shared Facilities

The Center operates and supports a number of Shared Experimental Facilities that enable state-of-the-art characterization in the following areas:

These core facilities are essential for the success of the Center:

In 2009, the Electron Microscopy Center acquired a state-of-the-art FEI Magellan 400 Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), which, at even the lowest acceleration voltages and beam currents, has sub-nanometer resolution and therefore ideally suited for e-beam sensitve polymers. The instrument features besides Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) and High Angle annular dark field imaging (HAADF), analytical capabilities such as Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD). In late 2013 the center will install an Energy Filtered Transmission Electron Microscope (EFTEM) JEOL 2200FS, which has the unique capability to image light elements through an integrated Omega-type Electron Energy Loss Spectrometer (EELS). The instrument will complement the analytical capabilities of the FEI Magellan through STEM, HADDF and EDS at acceleration volatges up to 200kV. Funding for both instruments was obtained through NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) awards and greatly enhances the analysis of composition and crystal structure of nanostructured materials in IRGs 1 and 2, and the Seed programs.

The UMass Amherst High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility offers access to five spectrometers. The Agilent700 spectrometer has a coldprobe and is fully equipped for triple resonance and gradient experiments, while the DSX300 and Infinity300 are wide bore solid-state spectrometers, which are equipped for triple resonance experiments as well as high-speed magic angle spinning, static solids, and wideline experiments. The advanced spectrometers are capable of the latest techniques for structure determination of macromolecules, including multinuclear, multidimensional NMR analysis.

A new addition to the Nanostructures Laboratory is a the Asylum/Oxford Research MFP-3D Scanning Probe Microscope, which is equipped with both hot and cold stages and a fluid cell allowing heating and electrical measurement (Conductive AFM, Current Imaging, Electrostatic Force & Kelvin Force Microscopy). This instrument also allows for surface mechanical properties measurements. The laboratory houses several Brucker Scanning Probe Microscopes including two Dimensions 3000 Series and a MultiMode Scanning Probe Microscope.

The Center also benefits from Shared Experimental Facilities of the CHM, which maintains cleanroom facilities, as well as facilities for the fabrication and characterization of nanostructured materials. The Center’s Facilities, coupled with those of the CHM, provide the major central-use instruments necessary to perform Center research, and their stimulating environments enable interactions between students, visiting scientists, and faculty members.

The Center is integrated firmly into the Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN), a cooperative effort among MRSECs. The MRFN establishes protocols by which a MRSEC researcher can access facilities at other MRSECs. In addition, the MRFN encourages access to these facilities by investigators at major research institutions, small colleges lacking needed characterization tools, or investigators from any of a variety of institutions who wish to utilize materials characterization equipment and techniques. The MRFN strongly promotes facility use by undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, and provides a tremendous opportunity for leveraging NSF-funded MRSEC. Researchers interested in utilizing MRFN may contact Alexander Ribbe and/or Todd Emrick.


The JEOL 2200FS to be installed in the Electron Microscopy Center Fall 2013


The Agilent700 Nuclear Magentic Resonance Spectrometer equipped with coldprobe


The Asylum/Oxford MFB 3D ScanningProbe Microscope.