Chicago Materials Research Center


Our MRSEC maintains a robust set of Shared Research Facilities for making, characterizing, measuring, and imaging many types of materials and samples. Our Shared Research Facilities play a major role providing crucial support to the evolving scientific and technical needs of the IRGs. Interactions that take place within these facilities often lead to the collaborative efforts between different research groups which are the hallmark of our program. From the training received, students acquire a broad interdisciplinary outlook on materials research, and this helps us transfer technical know-how from one generation of students to the next.

Most of facilities are headed by a professional PhD-level technical staff and all are supervised by Materials Center faculty. Our technical staff maintains and improves the equipment, performs measurements or prepares samples, and especially, trains students, research associates, and faculty to use the equipment. All shared facilities are open-access and available to all internal, external academic, and industrial users. Some of these might be able to help you in solving a preparation or characterization problem in your company or lab. If so, please contact us. We would like these facilities to have maximum benefit and impact. Many of our members are also willing to share their expertise to help companies implement these techniques. If you’re interested in exploring a specific technique with us. Please contact the technical director(s) of the facility of interest, or the faculty supervisor.

Some of the major services and equipment are highlighted below. In response to the needs of several of the IRGs, a number of facilities have been upgraded, reorganized, or newly established. Additional upgrades are planned as the scientific needs of our Center evolve.

Resources include:

  • FEG Scanning electron microscopes with electron-beam writing capabilities and sub-nm imaging resolution
  • Scanning probe microscopes including atomic force microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes
  • A suite of spectroscopy instruments for Raman, Fluorescence, UV/VIS/NIR absorption, particle sizing, thin film, and thermal characterization
  • KRÜSS Surface Science Lab for contact angle, interfacial tension, and surface energy
  • Materials preparation lab with surface coating, thermal processing, optical lithography, and vapor deposition facilities
  • Laser cutter, 3D printers, and personal CNC machines for rapid fabrication
  • State-of-the-art image processing and high-speed cameras
  • Low temperature magnetic and electrical characterization

We are a member fo the NSF Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN) to help facilitate access to our tools for any interested user.

If you’d like to start using our tools, please visit our Getting Started page.

Acknowledgement of Support

The UChicago MRSEC appreciates your continued support. Please include the following acknowledgement when presenting and/or publishing results made possible with the assistance of MRSEC Shared Facilities: “This work made use of the shared facilities at the University of Chicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, supported by National Science Foundation under award number DMR-2011854.”

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