Laboratory Instrumentation and Available Facilities

Facilities Equipment, and Other Resources

The following equipment, facilities, and other resources essential for the success of this project are available in the PI’s laboratories, through ongoing collaborations, in central facilities maintained by the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN) or other university centers, and at national user facilities.

Synthesis, Crystal Growth and Thin Film Deposition

Thin film deposition and preparation facilities specialized for organic materials including the following: two fully automated NIMA-KSV Langmuir-Blodgett deposition troughs, one with a Brewster angle microscope (BAM) and the other with a double-well dipper for alternating layer deposition; a customized Headway Research spin coater in a temperature-controlled enclosure; a vacuum deposition system with Knudsen cell sources and metal sources for electrode deposition. Thin film annealing systems with full temperature-time control, in vacuum, inert gas, or in ambient. Ultrathin organic films are further prepared under ultrahigh vacuum for in-situ investigations using home-build Knudsen cell thermal evaporators. General-purpose equipment and facilities include a Baltec vacuum evaporation coating system for electrode coating.

Optical and Electrical Measurements

Apparatus for sample handling and electronic characterization and measurement include the following: four high-performance impedance meters (two HP model 4192A, one HP model 4263B, one Quadtech model 1689M) operating from 5 Hz to 13 MHz; a Keithly model 428 electrometer current amplifier and Keithly model 2400 source meter; a 1 HZ to 30 kHz HP model 8111A analog function/pulse generator, a Stanford Research Systems model DS345 1 µHz to 30 MHz arbitrary function generator, several custom-built amplifiers with outputs up to 200 V AC; a Trek model 610B high voltage controller/amplifier capable of delivering voltages to ±10 kV, at frequencies from dc to 1 kHZ;  heating-cooling environmental chambers (–20 to 220 °C dry, 0-100% humidity from 0 to 90 °C); several computer-based experiment control data acquisition systems running LabView. Supporting equipment includes the following; several custom heating-cooling stages (–20 °C to 220 °C); assorted electronic test equipment; assorted sample preparation and handling tools.

Unique Custom Instrumentation and Facilities

Pyroelectric Scanning Microscope (PSM) for imaging film polarization with submicron resolution; a custom interferometric piezoelectric dilatometer sensitive to displacements of 0.01 pm or smaller; a high-sensitivity interferometric electro-optic measurement system.  


The Department of Physics and Astronomy maintains to outstanding research support facilities. The Instrument Shop has a wide array of design and fabrication facilities. 

Nebraska MRSEC

As a member of the Nebraska’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for Polarization and Spin Phenomena in Nanoferroic Structures the PI has access at to shared facilities, computational tools, expertise and experience developed within MRSEC that are directly beneficial for this proposed project.

Central Facilities at the UNL Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center (NCMN)

The PI is a member of the NCMN and therefore has priority access at greatly reduced rates to the center’s facilities and resources. In addition, NCMN staff is available to help with the operation of the equipment, routine and specialized sample preparation and characterization tasks. The center assists in the purchase of cryogenic gasses, evaporation sources, or samples. The NCMN laboratories are located in the Voelte Keegan Nanoscience Research Facility and neighboring Jorgensen Hall.