Research Laboratories on Lower Level

classroomOptical Tweezers Lab (Room 12) A 40 mW laser is used to hold and rotate micron size birefringent particles or biological samples. Students have given papers at national AAPT meetings based on this research work.



Thin Film Deposition Lab (Room 9) Equipped with an evaporation/sputter deposition system obtained with an NSF grant, this system deposits thin metal films for use in device fabrication and properties of materials studies. This lab also has a photolithographic patterning system for patterning the metal films into defined geometries. Both of these systems are currently being used by students for research projects.

Scanning Probe Microscope Lab (Room 6) Surfaces of microscopic samples are measured in both contact and non-contact mode. A very small tip (needle) is "dragged" across the sample, similar to a phonograph record, and the bumps and wiggles are analyzed and recorded to reveal the surface topology of the sample. Features on the size of 100 nm in width and 0.1 nm in height can be resolved with this instrument. It can also be configured to use Scanning Tunneling Microscopy which gives even greater resolution, however, the sample must be conducting. Equipment was supported by NSF.

Superconductivity Lab (Room 5) Equipped with a electrical transport properties measurement system, the electrical properties of superconductors are measured. It also has an 8 Tesla superconducting magnet for high-field measurements. Data is acquired through a computer interface using LabView software. The system was constructed over several years largely as a series of student research projects.

Biophysics Lab (Room 4) Equipped with a Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimeter, this lab is designed for explorations in protein unfolding using physical tools.  We are developing new techniques which combine the strengths of biology, chemistry and physics to answer the questions of how proteins fold, unfold, and activate.