Materials Characterization Facility

Primary Location: on the UCSD Main Campus, in Pacific Hall, room 4140

The MRSEC-MCF is a user and service facility associated with the NSF-funded UC San Diego Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, dedicated to materials characterization, assays, and sample processing.

Facility Manager: Ricardo De Luna

We ask that any publications or presentations acknowledge use of these MRSEC-supported facilities with the following statement:

“The authors acknowledge the use of facilities and instrumentation supported by NSF through the UC San Diego Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UCSD MRSEC), grant # DMR-2011924”

Access to the equipment in the facility runs under three modalities:

(1) samples can be submitted for analysis by the facility staff (Consultation-non-training fee is applied in addition to instrument usage fee)
(2) user trainees can run samples under the guidance of facility staff (Consultation-Training fee is applied in addition to instrument usage fee)
(3) trained users can sign up for the instrument and run their own samples (instrument usage fee only).

For modality (1), samples from third parties are received and returned under a material transfer agreement (contact the Facility Manager). For modality (3), users must first be trained and checked out on an instrument by the facility staff (modality 2). Thus there is an additional charge if a staff member is involved in either running of samples or training of a user. Alternatively, the UC San Diego MRSEC RIMSE program held each summer provides an immersive introduction and training on most of the available instrumentation in this facility. Additional facilities in support of materials fabrication and characterization (and nanotechnology in particular) are available in UCSD's San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure (SDNI).

Click here to RESERVE AN INSTRUMENT OR A TRAINING ACTIVITY

The following equipment is available on a recharge basis:

(new rates effective March 2021; Instrument rates are for usage only)


Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)

Malvern Instruments™ Zetasizer Nano™ for determination of nanoparticle size and charge. Features Multi Purpose Titrator for zeta potential measurements.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $25 // non-UC Users: $36.25


Thermogravimetric Analyzer/Differential Scanning Calorimeter with Mass Spectral Evolved Gas Analyzer (TGA-DSC-MS)

TA Instruments™ Discovery SDT 650™ simultaneous DSC/TGA. An MKS Cirrus 3 mass spectral analyzer is attached, allowing measurement of evolved gases up to 300 amu. Equipped with autosampler robot to load up to 30 samples. Can use nitrogen, oxygen, or air ambients. There is an additional charge for sample pans. Sample pans are re-usable but many users prefer to have their own dedicated pan to avoid possible cross-contamination from other users: charge for TGA sample pan for UC users: $35/pan; Non UC users: $40/pan

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $30  // non-UC Users: $43.50


Raman microscope

Renishaw™ inVia™ upright microscope with x-y mapping stage. 532nm and 785nm laser sources.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $50  // non-UC Users: $72.50


Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer

Nicolet™ 6700 Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, fitted with Smart-iTR™ diamond Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) attachment. Liquid nitrogen-cooled MCT-A detector; spectral range 600-11,7000 wavenumbers.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $30  // non-UC Users: $43.50


Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC)

Thermo Scientific™ Dionex™ UltiMate™ 3000 UHPLC. Pressures up to 620 bar (9,000 psi) at flow rates of up to 10 mL/min, detector data collection rates up to 100 Hz, and injection cycle times as low as 15 s, supports conventional LC and UHPLC applications.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $30  // non-UC Users: $43.50


Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

Shimadsu™ LC-2050 GPC with Wyatt Instruments™ MALS light scattering, OptiLab differential refractive index detectors. Columns for aqueous media (for protein separations), or organic media (for polymer characterization) available.

For the SOP on this instrument, contact the Facility Manager

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $40  // non-UC Users: $58.00


Rheometer

TA Instruments™ Discovery™ HR-30 Hybrid Rheometer. For characterizing a wide range of rheologic and viscoelastic properties of soft and solid materials: elastic modulus, viscous modulus, shear modulus, storage modulus, loss modulus, dynamic mechanical analysis, etc.

For the SOP on this instrument, contact the Facility Manager

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $55  // non-UC Users: $79.75


Quartz Crystal Microbalance

Biolin Scientific™ QSense Explorer™ for real-time analysis of surface-molecule interactions, thickness (or mass), viscosity, shear modulus and the frequency dependence of the viscosity and shear modulus. Kinetics, slope, rise time. Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D) technology

For the SOP on this instrument, contact the Facility Manager

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $55  // non-UC Users: $79.75


Photoluminescence - Absolute Quantum Yield Spectrometer

Hamamatsu™ Quantaurus-QY™ C11347  Measures absolute photoluminescence quantum yields from thin film, solid, powder, and liquid samples in the emission wavelength range 400 nm to 1100 nm.  Excitation wavelengths cover the range 375-850nm, with resolution = 2.5nm. Can also acquire excitation-emission matrix EEM spectra.

For the SOP on this instrument, contact the Facility Manager

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Photoluminescence - Steady-State

Thermoelectrically cooled CCD detector (Ocean Optics™ QE65™ and QEPro™) covering the range 250-1050nm, with resolution = 0.4nm. Excitation sources include various blue (450, 480nm) and UV (365, 370, 385nm) diodes (for PL) and broadband deuterium-halogen continuous source (for ABS or DR). The detection optics can be focused to 1mm spot size.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Photoluminescence - Time-Resolved and Time-Gated

Pulsed Optical Parametric Oscillator (Opotech, inc. Opolette 355LD) laser excitation source (tunable wavelength range 410 to 2200 nm) or Horiba DeltaDiode 375nm picosecond laser excitation source, thermoelectrically cooled ANDOR iSTAR 334T intensified CCD (iCCD)camera for time-gated photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements at a temporal resolution of 8 nanoseconds, covering the spectral emission range 400-850nm, with a resolution of 1nm. Can be configured for time-gated imaging.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $30  // non-UC Users: $43.50


Plate Reader: Fluorescence, Luminescence, and Absorbance

Molecular Devices™ SpectraMax® iD5 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader measures absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence. The iD5 also measures TRF and FP.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Porosimetry (BET)

Micromeritics™ ASAP 2020 gas adsorption/surface area measurement apparatus for acquisition of BET, BJH, DFT data to determine surface area, average pore size, pore volume. Note sample degas and isotherm acquisition typically requires 8 h of instrument time per sample.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $25  // non-UC Users: $36.25


Contact angle

Goniometer (ramé-hart™ Model 200) for measuring contact angle and surface energy on flat surfaces.

SOP

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $10  // non-UC Users: $14.50


Fluorescence microscope

Nikon™ Eclipse LV-150 coupled with a photometrics CCD or an ANDOR intensified CCD camera for steady-state or time-gated (temporal resolution of 8ns) photoluminescence imaging measurements.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $30  // non-UC Users: $43.50


Four-point conductivity probe

Keithley™ 2001 Multimeter, pneumatically actuated probe station, and micrometer thickness gauge for wafer resistivity measurements.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $10  // non-UC Users: $14.50


Electrochemical etching apparatus

Keithley™ 2460 or 2651A Sourcemeter, with Labview™ computer interface. For preparing porous silicon films, microparticles, and nanoparticles by electrochemical anodization. Allows fabrication of photonic crystals, Bragg stacks, microcavities, Fabry-Perot layers, microparticles, and nanoparticles (including porous silicon quantum dots with the appropriate activation steps).

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $25  // non-UC Users: $36.25


Optical reflectance spectrometers

Ocean Optics USB-4000 and USB-2000, fiber optic attachments, microscope optics, and light sources for acquisition of optical reflectance and Fabry-Perot interference data. Spectral wavelength range 350-1000nm.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $15  // non-UC Users: $21.50


Ceramic tube furnace

Controlled-atmosphere heating of samples to 1000°C. Note heating/cooling rate is limited to < 10°C/min, so a typical 800°C, 1 h run will require 3.6 h of instrument time.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


UV-Ozone cleaner

Bioforce™ ProCleaner™ Plus UV ozone cleaner for surface oxidation and removal of organic contaminants from inert surfaces. UV ozone coverage area is 4” x 5” (100mm x 125mm)

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20 // non-UC Users: $29


Ozone generator

Ozone Solutions, product ID OZV-8 for surface oxidation and removal of organic contaminants from inert surfaces.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Vacuum oven

For heating of samples to 300°C

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Muffle furnace

Thermolyne FD1545M (Thermo Fisher, USA) muffle furnace for atmospheric oxidation of samples up to 1000°C. Note heating/cooling rate is limited to < 10°C/min, so a typical 800°C, 1 h run will require 3.6 h of instrument time.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Vapor dosing apparatus

Computer-controlled (LABVIEW) gas-dosing apparatus, consisting of a Teflon gas-dosing chamber fitted with a transparent optical window and gas mixer/mass-flow controller (Cole-Parmer) system. The software and mass flow controllers can handle various low volatility, high volatility, toxic, corrosive, and flammable analytes. In-line humidity measurement.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $20  // non-UC Users: $29


Powder X-Ray Diffractometer

Bruker D8 Advance diffractometer using Cu Kα (1.5418 Å) radiation (40 kV, 40 mA). This instrument is managed by the UCSD Crystallography Facility.


Fluorescence spectrometer

Perkin-Elmer LS55. Instrument managed spearately, but access and billing flows through this portal.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $10  // non-UC Users: $14.50


Consultation/Training

Access to instrumentation is provided to users after training, which varies from instrument to instrument.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $50  // non-UC Users: $72.50


**Consultation-non-training

If you do not want to run the samples yourself, they can be run for you by our trained staff. This includes preparation and processing of user-supplied samples. Benchtop, fume hood, and Class II biosafety cabinet facilities are available. Charges here are in addition to the hourly instrument usage rates listed above.

Hourly Rate: UC Users: $35  // non-UC Users: $50.75