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Instrument Scheduling 

If you have completed the steps for lab access, you may reserve instrument time here

Note on liquid nitrogen:
You will need to bring your own liquid nitrogen tank. To have liquid nitrogen shipped to the MCL, use this information: 

420 Kelly Hall
325 Stanger St
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States 

Location code: 123533
Building code: T493

Plan your tests to use most or all of the tank you ordered. The MCL is a shared facility with limited space, and while it will not be possible to reserve tanks for individual users, you will be alerted when your tank has arrived and have access to it before other users.  

Once you are notified that your liquid nitrogen has arrived, reserve instrument time via the online reservation system. Please use your tank as soon as possible, and then promptly request its removal by the vendor to make the space available for other users. 


Thermogravimetric analysis

TA Instruments TGA 5500

  • IR furnace enables fast heating and cooling
  • < 0.1 µg resolution
  • Autosampler for high productivity
  • Blending gas delivery module allows flexibility in mixing inert and reactive gases
  • Temperature range: Ambient - 1200 °C

Thermogravimetric analysis

TA Instruments TGA 500

  • For standard samples
  • Samples analysis under inert gas or air
  • Temperature range: Ambient - 1000 °C

Differential Scanning Calorimetry

TA Instruments DSC Q200

  • Materials characterization (Glass transition, Curing, Heat capacity, QC)
  • Temperature range: -90 - 550 °C

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

TA Instruments DMA Q800

  • Available deformation modes: Dual/single cantilever, 3-point bend, shear sandwich, compression, and film/fiber tension.
  •  Liquid nitrogen gas cooling accessory
  • Temperature range: -145 - 1000 °C

Thermomechanical Analysis

TA Instruments TMA Q400

  • Deformation modes: Expansion, Penetration, Tension
  • CTE Measurements
  • Temperature range: -90 - 1000°C

Wide Angle X-Ray Diffraction

Bruker XRD D8

Bruker XRD D8
  • Superb counting statistics for faster data collection, high throughput.
  • Excellent peak-to-background ratio enhances sensitivity for minor phases.

Small Angle X-Ray Diffraction (SAX)

Bruker N8 Horizon

  • 2-dimensional VÅNTEC-500TM detector detects even the weakest SAXS signals.
  • Excellent peak-to-background ratio enhances sensitivity from 0 to 5°

Bruker N8 Horizon

Physical Properties Measurement

Quantum Design PPMS VersaLab

Versa Lab PPMS
  • Portable, cryogen-free cryocooler-based material characterization platform.
  • Material characterization up to 3 Tesla.
  • Vibrating sample magnetometer enables magnetic moment measurements as a function of temperature or magnetic field.
  • Integrated VSM oven option with extended Temperature range: 50 - 1000 K.
  • Integrated electron transport (ETO) for conductivity/resistance measurements using 2- and 4-probe configurations.

Electrochemical analysis

Solartron Modulab XM ECS Potentiostat

Solarton Modulab
  • Single-channel potentiostat for advanced electrochemical measurements.
  • Option for photoelectrochemical measurements.

Electrochemical analysis

Solartron analytical 1252A Potentiostat

Solartron Analytical
  • Eight-channel potentiostat for concurrent measurements of electrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties.

Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-infrared spectroscopy

Hitachi U4100 UV-VIS-NIR

Hitachi U4100
  • Integrated spheres for characterization of liquid and solid samples.
  • High-sensitivity integrating sphere produces low-noise measurements.
  • Range: 175 nm to 2600 nm.

FT-IR Spectrometer

Varian 670-IR

  • Full spectral range, from UV (50,000 cm-1) to far-IR (10 cm-1)
  • Spectral resolution less than 0.07 cm-1

Gel permeation/size exclusion chromatography

Agilent PL-GPC 220

Agilient PL-GPC 220
  • Accommodates a variety of polymer, solvent, and temperature combinations.
  • Full automation and advanced detection capabilities.
  • Temperature range: Ambient - 220 °C.

Size exclusion chromatography

ACQUITY Advanced Polymer Chromatography System

ACQUITY Advanced Polymer Chromatography System
  • High-resolution separations in short run times.
  • Multimodal detector module: refractive index, UV photodiode array, light scattering, and differential viscometry.

Atomic force microscopy

Bruker Dimension Icon AFM

Bruker Dimension Icon AFM
  • Nanoscale imaging and characterization with a tip-scanning AFM platform.
  • Temperature-compensating position sensors reduce noise to the angstrom (X-Y axes) and sub-angstrom (Z axis) scales.
  • Quantitative nanoscale data: Nanomechanical, PeakForce, Nanochemical, and Nanoelectrical characterization.

Optical microscopy

Nikon Eclipse LV100

Nikon Eclipse LV100
  • Compact polarizing microscope
  • Quintuple nosepiece with objectives up to 100x

Raman imaging

XploRA PLUS Raman microscope

XploRA Plus Raman
  • Fully confocal Raman images
  • Rapid imaging with excellent detection and sensitivity

Tension/compression testing

Instron 3340 Universal Testing System

Instron 3340
  • Single-column system.
  • Pneumatic side action grips and compression grips for tensile, static, and tension-tension cyclic tests for a wide range of materials.
  • Ideal for tension and/or compression studies of materials where tests are less than 5 kN (1,100 lbf) load capacity.

Nanomechanical testing

Micro Materials NanoTest Vantage

Micro Materials NanoTest Vantage
  • Nanomechanical and nanotribological tests including nanoindentation (quasi-static and dynamic), nano-impact and fatigue, nano-scratch and wear, and nano-fretting.
  • Allows testing in a variety of environments including reduced oxygen/purged conditions, under controlled humidity, and in fluid.
  • Temperature range: Ambient - 850 °C.

Surface area and porosity measurements

Micromeritics 3 Flex

Micrometrics 3
  • Surface characterization analyzer that provides high-resolution adsorption, desorption, and isotherms data.
  • Mesopore and micropore analyses of materials such as metal oxides, composites, carbon, catalysts, zeolites.

Tube Furnace

CM 1600 Series Rapid Temp Lab Furnace

Tube Furnace
  • Rapid heating and cooling
  • Uniform temperature control.
  • Temperature range: Ambient - 1600 °C.

Box Furnace

Thermo Scientific Lindberg Blue M box furnace

Box Furnace
  • Temperature range: 100 - 1200 °C

Temperature and Humidity Chamber

Espec BTL-433 Temperature & Humidity Chamber

Temperature and Humidity Chamber
  • Humidity range: 10 - 95% relative humidity
  • Temperature range: -20 - 180 °C.

Screen Printer

HMI MSP-485 Semi-Automatic Screen Printer

Screen Printer
  • Maximum substrate size: 8’’ x 8’’ (203mm x 203mm)

Mechanical Press

Carver 4126 25-12-2H Manual Heated Press

Mechanical Press
  • 25 tons of clamping force

3D Printing

HYREL System 30M

3D Printer
  • Specifications in X, Y, Z:    
    • 200 x 200 x 200mm (8 x 8 x 8″)
    • 5 x 5 x 1 micron positional resolution
    • 50 x 50 x 10 micron positional accuracy
    • 25 x 25 x 5 micron positional repeatability
  • Proprietary motion control.
  • Print speeds up to 2000 mm/min.
  • Ideal for standard, multi-material, novel, and experimental printing.