Carver Bench Top Standard Heated Press

The lab has a manually operated bench top press with two digitally heated 6” x 6” steel plates. It has a digital scale reading in pounds force with a force capacity of 24,000 lbf. The electrically heated plates are capable of reaching temperatures up to 650 deg F with a digital controller per metal plate (top and bottom). It also has a safety shield for convenient and safe use.

Wide-Angle Light Scattering

The lab has an ALV compact goniometer system (Model ALV/SP-125, Langen, Germany) equipped with an ALV/SO-SIPD photon detector. Experiments are done at a wavelength of 488nm using an Argon ion laser (Innova 70C, Coherent Inc., Santa Clara, CA).The device allows static and dynamic light scattering measurements to be performed at angles in the range of 12° to 155°. It can also be used for diffusing wave spectroscopy, with the detector position in transmission mode. The measurements are performed in single-use round glass cuvettes. A minimum sample volume of ~1 ml is required.

Nikon A1Rsi Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope

The new Biointerfaces Nikon A1Rsi inverted confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) is equipped with a spectral detector and resonant scanner operating at 12 kHz (up to 30 fps for 512 x 512 images). Dual confocal laser scanning heads achieve up to 4096 x 4096 resolution with a calibrated, motorized stage that allows the stitching of multiple images. A fast piezo stage with multiple inserts enables the rapid acquisition of z-stacks. 10x, 20x, 40x dry and 100x objectives are available. A stage-top incubation system for the culturing of biological samples in-situ is available. Spectrally resolved detection of multiple contiguous spectral lines, with the line width configurable to a width as small as 5.0 nm. The device is located in the Solomon lab - NCRC B20-134W.

Size Exclusion Chromatography - Multi-angle Laser Scattering

Our lab has a SEC-MALLS (size exclusion chromatography-multi angle laser light scattering) equipment setup, also referred to as a GPC (Gel Permeation Chromatography). We have an 18-detector Wyatt DAWN EOS light scattering device which is connected in series to a Wyatt OPTILAB DSP interferometric refractometer (RI detector). The light scattering unit has a laser which is focused on a flow cell into which the polymer sample flows through. The scattered light from the polymer sample is detected by the 18-detector arrangement with each detector set at a different angle to capture light scattered at different angles by the sample. The DAWN EOS is linked to a computer running a software that receives the scattered light intensities measured by the detectors and uses the Zimm or Berry equation to calculate the absolute molar mass, radius of gyration and second virial co-efficient. The Optilab DSP Interferometric Refractometer measures the difference in refractive index (RI) between a current sample and a liquid, usually the clear solvent, which is stored as a reference. If the differential index of refraction (dn/dc) is known, it can be used as a concentration detector in series with the DAWN EOS. Else, it can be used to obtain the dn/dc if the concentration is known.

The light scattering units are linked to a SEC setup which comprises of a Waters Degasser and Waters 515 HPLC isochratic pump connected to a Waters 717 Autosampler. A Millipore 0.02m filter is placed in-line between the pump and the Autosampler. We have the SEC operating under aqueous conditions and have the Waters Ultrahydrogel Linear, Ultrahydrogel 2000 and Ultrahydrogel 250 columns for size exclusion. Each of these columns has a different pore size and hence is optimized for different molar mass ranges. This setup is one of the most powerful methods for polymer characterization and it gives absolute molecular weight distribution and radius of gyration values. This setup can be used in both batch mode and on-line mode.


The Solomon group has access to three rheometers. Currently, the main instrument is the AR-G2 rheometer, seen above, manufactured by TA Instruments. This device is a constant stress rheometer with a very low stress sensitivity, making it a good choice for study of soft matter. It is able to conduct both cone-and-plate as well as parallel plate rheometry by easy substitution of the desired geometry. This machine applies a stress on the fluid of interest and measures the strain that results. Commonly conducted experiments include an oscillatory strain sweep, an oscillatory frequency sweep, and a steady state flow with an increasing shear rate. In addition to the AR-G2, our group has access to a TA Instruments ARES rheometer (joint with Larson group) and an AR 1000 constant stress rheometer (joint with Fogler group). We also maintain a system to measure solution viscosity by Ubbelohde viscometry.

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NCRC B20-134W