Clemson Division of Research

Clemson research facilities get big boost

Clemson University is adding new advanced equipment to three of its high-tech research facilities – the Electron Microscopy Facility, the Light Imaging Facility and the Micro Fabrication Facility.

The news tools will be used by Clemson researchers from numerous fields, as well as private industry, to fuel innovation for the advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, digital, energy and environmental sectors, among many others.

Electron Microscope Facility
Electron Microscope Facility

The Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) at the Advanced Materials Research Lab in Anderson is adding three products:

  • Hitachi’s SU9000 Ultra-High Resolution Scanning Electron Microscope with Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) capability is the highest resolution scanning electron microscope in the world and the only advanced microscope of its kind in the United States. This microscope will be ideal for catalysis, biological and pharmaceutical research, polymer and fiber analysis, life sciences and medicine, electronics, and advanced nanotechnology materials.
  • The Hitachi H7830 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) is the latest and most advanced tunable energy 120 kV TEM, featuring dual-mode objective lens technology that allows users to image their specimens in a variety of conditions, such as low magnification, wide-field high contrast, high resolution, and more — all in one microscope. This advanced TEM will allow users to study their material at the nanometer scale. Users from academia and industry from a variety of disciplines are expected to benefit from this advanced TEM.
  • Hitachi’s SU5000 Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (VP-SEM) allows for samples to be analyzed for a long duration with a stable and finely tuned electron beam. This microscope comes with a large chamber that is highly useful for irregularly shaped specimens. These types of microscopes are the work horse microscopes and provide steady and stable usage for extended period of time.

These additions make EMF one of the premiere electron microscopy labs in the country. This equipment is expected to be available for use by the end of the summer. Visit the EMF webpage for contact information and details on using equipment.

Meanwhile, the Clemson Light Imaging Facility (CLIF) is acquiring a new widefield imaging system, the Leica DMi8 TIRF HP with GSD Super-resolution. This powerful new live cell imaging tool offers traditional widefield imaging in X, Y, Z, T with multiple channels available for various fluorescent and transmitted light modes.  With the addition of the Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) module, users can now access four channels of TIRF imaging with Leica’s uniquely simple, one-click calibration, which provides highly repeatable penetration depths relative to the specimen’s refractive index without ever having laser light emitted into the room.  With the same four lasers, and Leica’s Laser Scanner, users can also now utilize the CLIF for photo-activation, photoconversion, optogenetics, and more, which may all be integrated into any of the imaging modes on the system.  The system is also capable of 2D GSD (Ground State Depletion) and dSTORM super-resolution. With the high performance stage and easy to use navigational software, users may now stitch large images, image multi-well plates, or image multi-positions within a dish, maximizing the data from every imaging run.

This equipment is expected to be delivered during the Spring semester. Visit the CLIF webpage for contact information and details on using the facility.

The Micro Fabrication Facility has added an EVG 501 wafer bonder, which can bond 4-inch diameter wafers  of similar or dissimilar materials together using heat and pressure. This capability allows researchers to take advantage of one material property while exploiting another.

In the 2nd quarter of 2019, the facility also will take delivery of a Raith EBPG5200 Series Direct Write Electron Beam Pattern Generator. This tool is state-of-the-art in E-beam direct writing, capable of producing sub 10nm structures with overlay accuracy of <5nm. With this new equipment, Clemson researchers will no longer need to travel to other institutions to produce nanotechnology-level devices.

Visit the Micro Fabrication Facility webpage for contact information and details on using the facility.

These are significant investments in Clemson’s research infrastructure. In 2019, the Division of Research again will offer faculty an opportunity to utilize these facilities, as well as the Godley-Snell Research Center, Aquatic Animal Research Lab, and High Performance Computing, through the Clemson University Core Incentivized Access program (CU-CIA). CU-CIA is one of six  R-Initiative programs created to spur research activity at Clemson and open new opportunities for faculty. In the last two years, the university has invested more than $3 million through its R-Initiative programs in projects involving 161 faculty members from 36 departments representing each college. Applications for the CU-CIA incentive will be due in April. More information on the CU-CIA program and other R-Initiatives is available online here