Equipment in the ISM Characterization Lab



  • Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM), or Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), mounted on inverted fluorescence microscope

Model: NTEGRA Prima AFM (NT-MDT) & Ti-S (Nikon)

Capabilities: (1) Measurements of surface topography with nanometer resolution; (2) Simultaneous topographical and fluorescence imaging; (3) Live cell imaging in buffer solutions; (4) Measurements of localized mechanical (adhesion and stiffness), electrical (I-V and surface potential), or thermal properties (surface temperature and thermal conductivity).


  • Bright-Field/Fluorescence Microscope with High-Precision Micromanipulators

Model: Ti-E (Nikon) & NT-88-V3/IM-11-2A (Narishige)

Capabilities: (1) 10x, 40x, 60x (oil) lenses available; (2) Filter cubes that cover the whole near-UV to near-IR spectra for fluorescence imaging; (3) Fully automated system that allows for recording time- lapse, focal series and tiling (taking images at each section of a large area and stitching them together); (4) High-precision micromanipulation and microinjection; (5) Temperature controlled stage (0-100 ºC) available.




  • Parallel-Plate/Cone-Plate Rheometer

Model: MCR302 (Anton Paar)

Capabilities: (1) Oscillatory measurements of storage and loss moduli for viscoelastic materials; (2) Rotational measurements of viscosity for viscous liquids; (3) Measurements of time- or temperature-dependent flow or viscoelastic behavior; (4) Peltier temperature control device   (-40 -200 ºC) available.


  • Dual-Head Rheometer

Model: MCR702 TwinDrive (Anton Paar)

Capabilities: (1) Double-gap configuration that supports rotational viscosity measurements for dilute solutions and pure solvents; (2) Direct strain control via bottom plate displacement; (3) Counter rotation of the two motors to control the vertical position of the static layer; (4) Oscillatory measurements of storage and loss moduli for viscoelastic materials; (5) Rotational measurements of viscosity for viscous liquids; (6) Measurements of time- or temperature-dependent flow or viscoelastic behavior; (7) Convection temperature control device (-20 -180 ºC) available.

Note: We are the Mid-Atlantic reference site for Anton Paar GmbH, and the first US lab to have an MCR702 TwinDrive rheometer.


Light Scattering


  • Dual-Beam Cross-Correlation Light Scattering Instrument

Model: 3D LS spectrometer (LS Instruments)

Capabilities: (1) Particle sizing for both dilute and concentrated solutions (multiple scattering suppression); (2) Molecular mass measurement; (3) Programmable dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements at multiple angles; (4) Sample goniometer that enables measurements of non-ergodic samples; (5) Square cell for extremely concentrated solutions; (6) Sample vat temperature controlled by external circulator (10 -70 ºC).

Note: LS Instruments is by far the only manufacturer in the world that provides reliable dual-beam, multiple-angle DLS systems. We are the Mid-Atlantic reference site for LS Instruments.




  • Low-Volume Isothermal Titration Calorimeter (ITC)

Model: Nano-ITC (TA Instruments)

Capabilities: (1) Measurements of molecular binding, dissociation, or reaction kinetics in dilute solutions, especially suited for biological samples with limited availability; (2) Temperature range: 2 - 80 ºC.


  • Multi-Cell Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

Model: MC-DSC (TA Instruments)

Capabilities: (1) Measurements of thermal transitions in solid and liquid samples; (2) Temperature range: -30 - 150 ºC; (3) Large sample capacity (~ 1 g) allows for enhanced detection of small heat effects.


Surface Analysis


  • Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)

Model: 404pi (BiOptix)

Capabilities: (1) Measurements of molecular adsorption onto pristine or modified metal surfaces, such as binding of flowing small molecules by immobilized proteins; (2) Fully automated multi-channel fluidics; (3) Versatile surface chemistries.

Note: We are the Mid-Atlantic reference site for BiOptix.




  • Dual-extruder 3D printer (Leapfrog Creatr) with multiple materials available (PLA, ABS, PVA, Nylon, etc.)

  • Benchtop plasma cleaner (PlasmaEtch PE25-JW)

  • Stand mixer (Cole-Parmer Servodyne) with speed/torque monitoring and control, 150 – 6,000 rpm

  • Universal spin-coater (Laurell Technologies) with digital process controller, 100 – 12,000 rpm

  • Wafer spin-coater (MTI Corporation), 500 – 8,000 rpm

  • Analytical balance (Mettler Toledo) with max weight of120 g and readability of 0.1 mg

  • Benchtop centrifuge with max speed of 4,000 rpm and 6x50 mL capacity

  • Sonicator, Vortex mixer, Hot plate