Surface Prep Lab

Surface Preparation Laboratory

Our well-equipped surface preparation lab features standard wet-lab capabilities, plus additional tools for biology, including two microscopes, a high-speed centrifuge, a digitally-controlled oven, and generous cold storage space.

Instruments that our group has regular access to, but are not housed in our space include, a chemical deposition chamber, an atomic force microscope (AFM), a zeta potential measurement unit. Our lab is also capable of facilitating precise surface micropatterning using ultraviolet (UV) photolithography and is equipped with a UV-ozone cleaner (images not shown).

20160613_114705 The Langmuir-Blodgett Trough
Used for coating monomolecular thin films onto substrates and for characterizing their phase behavior at the air-water interface. We are also equipped with smaller troughs for fluorescent microscopy and diffusion coefficient measurements at the air-water interface.
20160613_114739 Microscope2_with_trough Fluorescence Microscopy
Our two Nikon microscopes provide fluorescent imaging with both near and far working distances, each with a full range of objectives, including water and oil immersion lenses, a well-equipped library of interchangeable fluorescent filters, vibration isolation, and a temperature-controlled stage. Each can be combined with a small Langmuir trough for simultaneous imaging of the phase behavior of surfactants at the air-water interface (shown on left).
FlowHood_wetlab_1 Class 100 Clean Areas
Much work is performed in laminar flow boxes which qualify as Class 100 clean environments. Their simplicity and small size permits a level of cleanliness that often surpasses that of some full-scale clean rooms.
Scales Microbalance Scales
Enthroned on artificial stone weighing 150 pounds, our microbalances enable accurate weighing down to 0.000001 grams.
Oven_interior Ovens
Two high temperature vacuums, both with digital control and one with 10^-2 torr vacuum capabilities, facilitate physical and chemical materials processing.
Nanopure_H20_maker Nanopure Reagents
We eliminate impurities in our laboratory water supply through a four-point filtration process terminating in this nano-pure filtration unit that adds an extra two levels of filtration. Typically we use only reagents of the purest quality to minimize contamination during sample preparation.
spincoater_closeup Spin-Coater
We often utilize spin-coating techniques to form thin films from materials dissolved in volatile solvents.