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Nano-Engineering Research Core Facility Opens in Spring 2016
Located at the 32,000 square foot Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center on UNL’s City Campus, the new Nano-Engineering Research Core Facility (NERCF) was created as a shared-user facility that houses state-of-the-art research instrumentation valued at nearly $4.5 million to position the University and state of Nebraska at the forefront of advance materials manufacturing and nano-engineering.
Equipment available in NERCF enhances research capacity and quality by providing in-house nanofabrication and nanocharacterization technology, including a Stratys Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer, a Spark Plasma Sintering system, FEI Helios dual-beam scanning electron microscope/focused ion beam mill and an Asylum Research MFP-3D-Bio Atomic Force Microscope, and an Anasys Instruments afm+.
“This facility was developed to provide area researchers and industry with multi-scale equipment that, otherwise, would not be available or would have to be purchased at extreme costs,” said Joseph Turner, Robert W. Brightfelt Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “It is the intent of this facility to become a regional hub for nano-engineering of materials and devices.”
The Stratys Objet 500 Connex3 is an advanced multi-material 3D printing system that can produce precise, smooth and highly-detailed models with vivid colors for all prototyping needs; Spark Plasma Sintering utilizes high-amperage pulsed DC current to activate the consolidation and reaction-sintering of materials; and the 3D Bio Atomic Force Microscope can be used for measurements on living cells, soft and hard tissues, and synthetic materials proposed for use within the human body. Additional equipment at NERCF allows a wide range of materials or devices to be created and characterized.
NERCF equipment and operations are funded in part by the Nebraska Research Initiative and the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development.