Facilities

The MRL Central Facilities allow for the sharing of expensive and complex cutting-edge research instrumentation while providing for maintenance and continuous development by a dedicated professional staff.
The MRL Central Facilities allow for the sharing of expensive and complex cutting-edge research instrumentation while providing for maintenance and continuous development by a dedicated professional staff.

The MRL Central Research Facilities allow for the sharing of expensive and complex cutting-edge research instrumentation while providing for maintenance and continuous development by a dedicated professional staff. The presence of the facilities dramatically enhances intellectual interactions among users. Additionally, having expert scientists to work with users improves efficiency as well as the quality of the scientific results.

Becoming a User

The MRL Central Research Facilities operate as user facilities, allowing researchers self-use after completing the application process and necessary training. 

Center for Microanalysis of Materials (CMM)

CMM is an integrated facility containing the full array of modern nanostructural and nanochemical analysis techniques including electron microscopy (SEM, TEM, STEM, high-pressure environmental cell TEM, high-temperature LEEM, focused ion beam microscopy), scanning probe microscopy (AFM and variable-temperature STM), surface microanalysis (SIMS, AES, XPS, imaging XPS, electrochemical XPS), x-ray scattering in all modes, and ion-beam spectroscopies (RBS, channeling, and NRA); these instruments are maintained, operated and developed by an excellent group of professional scientists who also teach instrument use, assist in interpretation of results and support the science on which the equipment is focused.

Laser and Spectroscopy Facility (LSF)

The LSF provides access to a variety of lasers and instruments; it meets the scientific needs of about 20 research groups and trains about 40 new users per year. Laser wavelengths range from 300 nm in the ultraviolet to 20μm in the mid-infrared. Line widths as narrow as 15 kHz and pulses as short as 10-13s are available. These sources are used to implement a variety of spectroscopic techniques, e.g. Raman, Brillouin, pump-probe, time-resolved photoluminescence, and sum-frequency generation. In addition to standard instruments, e.g. a spectrophotometer, the facility has several specialized instruments, including a spectroscopic ellipsometer which operates over the range 240-1700 nm, a combination atomic force microscope, confocal microscope, and near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM), one of only two in the U.S, which provides spectroscopic images with a spatial resolution of 50 - 100 nm, in addition to topography, and a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer used to characterize samples in the mid- and far-infrared.

Micro/Nanofabrication Facility (Microfab)

The Micro/Nanofabrication Facility provides equipment and resources for deposition of thin films and the fabrication of patterned micro- and nano-scale structures including MEMS, SQUIDS, and other multi-layer electronic devices. The facility currently serves over 100 users from 35 research groups. The facility has a 1,000-square feet, class-100 clean room. It houses a variety of UHV instruments, including a four-target magnetron co-sputtering system as well as collimated ion and reactive ion beam etching systems. These instruments, together with high-precision optical and electron-beam lithography systems capable of 10 nm line resolution, provide pattern delineation. The Crystal Growth Facility has a 6 kW 4-mirror floating zone furnace with a growth temperature range up to 2,200° C, as well as a variety of variable-temperature sintering, oxidation, tube and muffle furnaces together with diamond polishers, grinding, lapping, pressing and cutting equipment.

Information Technology (IT)

Computing and networking support for the MRL research community is provided by Engineering IT Shared Services. Researchers have access to local and campus cluster computing resources, as well as a full range of core services including email, web serving, file hosting, printing, network backups, and consultation on software and hardware purchases. A wide range of software packages is made available to the user community in addition to a well-rounded user room in 264 MRL with workstations, printers, scanners as well as audio/visual equipment available for checkout.

Storeroom

The MRL Storeroom carries various office supplies, component parts for pressure and vacuum fittings, chemistry related items and cleaning products. Departmental shipping and receiving is also handled through the storeroom.

Machine Shop

The Physics-MRL Machine Shop is well-equipped for making special one-of-a-kind research equipment to order. The Machine Shop has experience fabricating special equipment that is used in the areas of Ultra High Vacuum (UHV), High Temperature, High Pressure, Cryogenics, and Laser Research, etc.