Laser and Spectroscopy

The MRL Laser and Spectroscopy suite is a user-oriented, user-friendly facility that provides the modern photon-based analytical capabilities essential to today’s materials science. These services emphasize the study of optical properties of materials and interfaces, and the relation to microstructural and microchemical composition, phase transitions, crystalline, electronic, and defect structure of materials, surfaces, and interfaces.


Contact Angle Goniometry

This technique is used to quantify the wettability of a solid surface by a liquid, as well as determining surface free energy, surface tension, and interfacial tension between materials.


Ellipsometry is an optical method used for the characterization of surfaces and thin film layers by measuring the change in polarization of light reflected or transmitted from them. Commonly used to determine layer thickness and optical constants, in some cases ellipsometry can also be applied to determine composition, crystallinity, roughness, and other material properties associated with changes in optical response.

Light Sources

We have a varied assortment of lamps and pulsed and continuous-wave lasers, including a supercontinuum 480 nm to 2400 nm pulsed laser and several ultrafast (<0.5 ps pulse width) laser sources.


The microscopy suite in the Laser and Spectroscopy Facility encompasses a wide variety of instruments for imaging and mapping of material properties. Available modalities include confocal Raman and fluorescence microscopy, scattering scanning near-field FTIR spectroscopy, C-DIC, TIC, polarization, phase, brightfield, and darkfield. Available geometries are inverted and upright using reflected or transmitted illumination.


Spectroscopy uses the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter to characterize optical, thermal, mechanical and electronic properties of materials. The MRL facilities include conventional, state-of-the-art spectroscopic tools in addition to techniques and instrumentation developed in house.



Equipment in this Core

Equipment Name Contact Locationsort descending Technique(s)
Zeiss Axiovert 0022 Supercon
Nanophoton Raman 11 0022 Supercon
Neaspec NanoFTIR/NIM AFM, SSNOM 0022 Supercon
Zeiss LSM7 Live 0022 Supercon
Keyence VK-X1000 3D Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope 0022 Supercon
Thermo Nicolet Nexus 670 FTIR 0024 Supercon
Photoluminescence 0024 Supercon
Time-Resolved Photoluminescence 0024 Supercon
Time-Domain Thermoreflectance 0024 Supercon
WITec Alpha NSOM 0024 Supercon
Newport Solar Simulator 0024 Supercon
Sum-Frequency-Generation 129 MRL
Gaertner L116C 248 MRL
J.A. Woollam VASE 248 MRL
Ramé-Hart Model 250 Contact Angle Goniometer 248 MRL
Transient Absorption 248 MRL
Varian Cary 5G and Agilent Cary 5000 248 MRL
SLM/ISS Fluorometer 248 MRL
OL 750 Spectroradiometer 248 MRL
Oriel Solar Simulator 248 MRL