The shared facilities of the NSEC serve NSEC related researchers, other internal users at UW, and external users from academia and industry. As the dimensions of material systems shrink to the nanoscale, surface and interfacial phenomena play increasingly dominant roles in determining material properties. The NSEC facilities collaborate with and leverage existing state-of-the-art instrumentation, human resources, and user networks of two organizations at UW: The College of Engineering Shared Instrument Facilities, and the NSF MRSEC. Links for the Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics (WCAM) and the UW Materials Science Center (MSC) are listed below.
A key Campus Instrument resource created by the NSEC is the Soft Material Laboratory, which includes polymer and thin film growth and characterization, an AFM for high resolution imaging, a variable pressure FESEM for imaging non-conductive sample, with X-ray analysis capability. The laboratory includes the following instrumentation: Gel Permeation Chromatography System (GPC), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC), Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Rheometer, Schlenk lines (2) for polymer synthesis (anionic, others), Zeta Potential Analyzer, Spin coater/vacuum ovens/photocrosslinker. Additional characterization instruments include Dynamic and Static Light Scattering, Capillary Viscometer, contact angle measurement, and an Oxygen Plasma tool. The lab hosts all of the instrumentation with the following exception: the light scattering apparatus is in a separate dark room. Additions to this lab in the current year include two Ellipsometer instrument, a Zeiss VPFESEM, a Thermo Microscopes AFM with Thermal Probe to allow transition temperature measurements on the micron level, a new FT-IR PM IRRAS system, a second micro-FT-IR system, and basic UV/VIS and FT-IR spectrometers. The FESEM is also has Electron Beam Lithography capability, and is used for patterning various resists and chemical brushes for directed assembly applications.
NSEC acquired pattern transfer equipment in WCAM includes inductively coupled plasma etchers for dielectrics, metals, and semiconductors, a high aspect ratio plasma etcher for silicon, and a Nanoimprinter lithographic tool for embossing and molding nanofabricated structures from rigid masters.
We have also built new research and user network partnerships with other universities (Cornell), national laboratories (Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), international laboratories ( University of Melbourne - Australia) and industry (Intel, Sematech, Hitachi Data Storage Systems, Dow Chemical, Sigma Aldrich). The shared facilities are anticipated to serve as a starting point for start -up companies, and serve existing companies in nanotechnology (nPoint; nanopositioning devices for microscopy ) and in the biological area (NimbleGen; gene synthesis, Platypus Technologies; biosensors, OpGEN; genome squencing).
Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics (WCAM)
Materials Science Center (MSC)
University of Melbourne