Materials Engineering Facilities
Transmission Electron Microscopy
The Department has a Philips CM30 300KV Transmission Electron Microscope fitted with the Gatan 794 Multi Scan Camera and Oxford EDS system. This provides high-resolution imaging and elemental analysis. Specimen preparation facilities include equipment for electrochemical polishing, ion milling, tripod polishing, and the metallography and optical microscopy laboratories.
Scanning Electron Microscopy
Materials and Metallurgical Engineering is the home of two Scanning Electron Microscopes. The Hitachi S-4100 has a field emission source and PGT EDS system. This microscope is used for high resolution imaging and elemental analysis. The department also houses a Hitachi S-3200 variable pressure SEM with Thermo System Six EDS system. In addition to the traditional SEM imaging and EDS analysis, the variable pressure mode allows for a wide variety of samples to be imaged without sample preparation. The Thermo EDS system is capable of spectral imaging, which allows for identification of phases at a micrometer scale over the entire viewed surface. The lab has thin film deposition systems for evaporation and sputter coating of thin films. This microscope is interfaced to the internet, making it available for distance learning and internet collaboration.
Electron Microprobe Analysis
The Bureau of Geology has available to the University a Cameca SX-100 electron microprobe. The electron microprobe is well suited to non-destructive quantitative chemical analysis of very small spots (as small as one micron) on a sample surface. The electron microprobe can also produce fine-scale chemical maps of polished samples, and three-dimensional, high-magnification Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of rough sample surfaces.
The Department houses a Siemens Kristalloflex 810 diffractometer, used for standard phase identification of powders. The Bureau of Geology has an x-ray diffractometer available for use.
Scanning Probe Microscopy
A Veeco/Digital Instruments Multimode AFM with a Nanoscope IIIa scanner enables nano-scopic imaging of hard (inorganic) or soft (organic) surfaces in either contact or tapping mode. Options include large and small scan head, large sample accessory, fluid cell and heater, high temperature (250C) scanner, and extender electronics for electric and magnetic force microscopy.
Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy
The optical microscopy lab has transmitted and reflected light microscopes for routine inspection and metallographic work. It also contains the Hirox KH 7700 Digital Microscope, capable of 2D and 3D measurements, image stitching, and time-sequence photography.
Electronic and Optical Properties Measurements
Instrumentation for optical and electronic measurements include the Thermo Nicolet Nexus 8700 Fourier-transform IR spectrometer, an American Magnetics 8T magnetic cryostat (1.6-300K), Radiant Technologies Precision LC ferroelectric materials analyzer, Hewlitt-Packard 4192A low frequency impedance analyzer, and the Hewlitt-Packard 4291A radio frequency impedence/material analyzer. Photovoltaic properties of solar cells (fill factor, max power, efficiency, etc) are made using a Sciencetech SS1KW Solar Simulator and automated I-V measurement system. AM0 or AM1.5 filters provide high quality spectral characteristics that meet ASTM E927-5(2005) and IEC-904-9 ANSI standards.
Mechanical and Rheological Characterization
The department has Rockwell and micro hardness testing instruments, and an Instron 1122 mechanical tester. A Rheometrics Mechanical Spectrometer model 800 (RMS-800) is equipped with a forced air convection oven allowing testing temperatures from ambient to 600°C. The Rheometric Scientific Universal Stress Rheometer (SR5) uses a Peltier system which has an operating range of -20° to 120°C. The laboratory also has an Instron 1125 Electro-mechanical testing machine equipped with a 311-005 Environmental chamber in which testing can be done from -70° to 250°C.
A Linseis L81 simultaneous thermal analyzer and a Linseis L75 dilatometer are available for the characterization of the effect of temperature on a material from room temperature to 1500 oC. The L81 simultaneously does both differential thermal analysis (DTA) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) in air or inert atmosphere and the dilatometer measures the change in length of a sample with temperature allowing the calculation of the coefficient of thermal expansion for a solid material. The dilatometer can also be used for sintering studies on metals and ceramics in air or inert atmosphere. A Perkin Elmer DSC7 differential scanning calorimeter is also available for use.
A wide range of materials processing equipment is available, starting with the basic instrument shop, roll and ball mills, and multiple furnaces, including the Thermal Technology Astro furnace (to 2000 oC). Other available equipment includes the Haake RD 500 Rheodrive with Rheomix extruder, Tape Casting Machine (EPH Eng. Assoc.) and MPM screen printer (4” square).
Electrochemistry and Corrosion
Both processing and analysis equipment is available for the study of surface chemistry and corrosion products in the electrochemistry and corrosion laboratory.
Computers, Software, and Modeling
In addition to the department’s wide range of computers with network connection, the Tech Computer Center supports a much larger network that is available to students and the department. The Computer Science department has access to symmetric multiprocessors and special purpose massively parallel computers in research labs associated with Tech. The department’s SEM lab has extensive imaging and simulation software, and internet collaboration ability. LAMMPS Molecular Dynamics Simulator, and open source code software, is used extensively in the department
Research Laboratories at Tech
Many of our students find summer positions or research projects with one of the many research centers on campus, such as the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, or the Petroleum Recovery Research Center. For a full list of research centers, visit the NMT home page: http://www.nmt.edu/
Equipment Use Contact: Gary Chandler