• Space
Undergrad

Van Vlack Undergraduate Lab

The primary purpose of the Van Vlack Undergraduate Laboratory is to serve the needs of undergraduate students. It is the classroom for MSE laboratory and computational courses, a collaborative space for student projects, and a site to conduct demonstrations and discussions for other MSE courses. The VVUL additionally hosts community outreach events and graduate courses, and the equipment can be used for research when it is not reserved for instructional use.

 

sitting at SEM

 

There are two main areas in the laboratory, each housing different types of equipment.

 

  •  The main room contains a wide variety of materials characterization apparatus, including microscopy, mechanical testing, spectroscopy, and x-ray equipment.  It also contains a computer laboratory with access to modern materials research software.
  • The furnace room contains equipment for sample preparation, including a machine shop, casting and heat-treatment furnaces, and chemical supplies.

 

XRF

Microscopes

JEOL JSM-IT500HR with SE/BSE/EDS
JEOL JSM-IT500HR with SE/BSE/EDS

Scanning electron microscope for secondary and backscatter imaging and EDS elemental analysis/mapping.  Voltage range 500V to 30 kV, resolution better than 5nm under ideal conditions, motorized 5-axis stage.  Beginner-friendly interface includes automatic focus, stigmation, and contrast/brightness options.  Low vacuum mode available for imaging weakly conducting specimens without sputter coating.

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Nikon AZ100 Microscope with Nikon Digital Sight DS-5M Camera
Nikon AZ100 Microscope with Nikon Digital Sight DS-5M Camera

Low-magnification microscope with wide field of view.  Recommended for macrophotography applications.

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Nikon Eclipse Ci Biological Microscope with DS-Ri2 Camera
Nikon Eclipse Ci Biological Microscope with DS-Ri2 Camera

Upright optical microscope optimized for biological specimens.  Fluorescence lamp is available and stage includes a slide holder.  Objectives range from 5x to 100x and maximum image capture resolution is 16 megapixels.  Onboard Nikon Elements software enables image processing tasks including phase measurement, horizontal and vertical image stitching, 3d mapping, and more.

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Nikon Eclipse LV100ND Upright Microscope with DS-Ri2 Cameras
Nikon Eclipse LV100ND Upright Microscope with DS-Ri2 Cameras

General-purpose upright optical microscopes with brightfield and darkfield illumination modes.  Polarizers and prisms for Nomarsky/DIC imaging are available.  Objectives range from 5x to 100x and maximum image capture resolution is 16 megapixels.  Onboard Nikon Elements software enables image processing tasks including phase measurement, horizontal and vertical image stitching, 3d mapping, and more. 

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Nikon Eclipse MA 200 Inverted Microscope with DS-Ri2
Nikon Eclipse MA 200 Inverted Microscope with DS-Ri2

Inverted optical microscope optimized for metallographic specimens.  Objectives range from 5x to 100x and maximum image capture resolution is 16 megapixels.  Onboard Nikon Elements software enables image processing tasks including phase measurement, horizontal and vertical image stitching, 3d mapping, and more.

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Mechanical Properties

Clark Microhardness Tester (Vickers/Knoop) CM-400AT
Clark Microhardness Tester (Vickers/Knoop) CM-400AT

Vickers microhardness tester optimized for mounted/polished specimens but can be used with a variety of flat specimens geometries.  Minimum specimen size approx. 1cm square, maximum approx. 4cm by 10cm.  Applied load can range from 10g to 1kg.

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Instron 3382A
Instron 3382A

Load frame for performing uniaxial mechanical tests – tension, compression, bending.  Various grips are available and T-slot table allows for custom fixtures.  Maximum load 100 kN with less than 1% error in force measurements; clip-on extensometer allows strain measurement to better than 0.5%.  Video capture system allows recording of experiments and syncing video data to mechanical data.

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MTS Insight Electromechanical-10 kN Standard Length
MTS Insight Electromechanical-10 kN Standard Length

Load frame for performing uniaxial mechanical tests – tension, compression, bending.  Various grips are available.  Maximum load 10 kN with less than 1% error in force measurements; clip-on extensometer allows strain measurement to better than 0.5%.

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Rockwell Hardness Tester
Rockwell Hardness Tester

Analog Rockwell hardness tester.  See ASTM standard for details.

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TA×XT-Plus Texture Analyser
TA×XT-Plus Texture Analyser

Small mechanical tester for high-sensitivity, low-force measurements.  Force resolution better than 5 grams-force and distance resolution better than 0.01mm.  Max load ~300N.  Tensile and compression grips available; users may customize their own fixtures or order accessories from the vendor.

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Spectroscopy and Calorimetry

Jasco (FT/IR-4100) Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer
Jasco (FT/IR-4100) Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer

FTIR spectrometer for probing covalent bond structure of specimens; especially useful for studying organic polymers.  Specimens can be solid, powder, or liquid; minimum solid specimen size is approximately 5mm by 5mm by 0.1mm.  Onboard software has some data processing functions including baseline correction and peak ID/integration.

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Perkin Elmer (DSC 6)
Perkin Elmer (DSC 6)

Two identical calorimeters can be used individually or in parallel to measure thermal properties of specimens.  Specimens can be solid, powder, or liquid; recommended specimen mass is 10-20mg.  Operating range is 5°C to 450°C.  Sapphire reference standards are available for heat capacity measurements.

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Rigaku Supermini 200 XRF
Rigaku Supermini 200 XRF

X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for measuring elemental composition of specimens.  Can accept solid, powder, or liquid specimens.  Allows for composition measurement to better than 0.1%.  University radiation safety course and dosimeter paperwork required before training/use.

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Varian 50Bio UV-Visible Spectrophotometer
Varian 50Bio UV-Visible Spectrophotometer

Spectrometer for probing optical transitions within specimens in the visible, near-IR, and near-UV range.  Specimens can be solid, powder or liquid and should be translucent as hardware is configured for transmission measurements.  Wavelengths range from 190nm to 1100nm.

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X-Ray Diffractometry

Rigaku MiniFlex 600 XRD
Rigaku MiniFlex 600 XRD

A beginner-friendly x-ray diffractometer for performing theta/2-theta scans.  Optimized for powder diffraction but can accommodate other specimen types.  University radiation safety course and dosimeter paperwork required before training/use.  PDXL software for analysis with various databases is available free of charge.

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Rigaku SmartLab XRD
Rigaku SmartLab XRD

A versatile and powerful X-ray diffractometer.  The Smartlab is highly configurable and allows for a variety of measurement types including theta/2-theta scans, pole figure measurements, small-angle diffraction, and more.  Thermally controlled stage for both cryogenic and heated measurements is available.  Specimens can be solids, powders, or thin films.  University radiation safety course and dosimeter paperwork required before training/use.  PDXL software for analysis with various databases is available free of charge.

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Sample Prep

Anatech Hummer VI Sputter Coater
Anatech Hummer VI Sputter Coater

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ATM Saphir 530 Dual Wheel Grinder/Polishers
ATM Saphir 530 Dual Wheel Grinder/Polishers

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AVS-Pillar Vacuum Induction Furnace
AVS-Pillar Vacuum Induction Furnace

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Carver Hydraulic Press
Carver Hydraulic Press

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DoAll Band saw
DoAll Band saw

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Fisher Scientific FS30 Ultrasonic Cleaner
Fisher Scientific FS30 Ultrasonic Cleaner

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Furnace, VWR Signature™ Gravity Convection Ovens
Furnace, VWR Signature™ Gravity Convection Ovens

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Haas CNC Machine (VF-1)
Haas CNC Machine (VF-1)

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LECO Cut Off Saw
LECO Cut Off Saw

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LECO Mounting Presses
LECO Mounting Presses

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Pillar Induction Furnace
Pillar Induction Furnace

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RTC 1000 Furnace
RTC 1000 Furnace

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Stratasys OBJET24 3D Printer
Stratasys OBJET24 3D Printer

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