Project Details


With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation program (MRI), the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities program (CRIF), The Divsion of Material Research (DMR) and the MPS Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA), Rutgers University-New Brunswick will develop a scanning probe microscope (SPM) with an electrochemical station and optical microscope capable of doing dip-pen nanolithography (DPN). Scanning probe microscopy methods are among the most powerful and versatile classes of microscopic tools available. They can be used for simple topographic imaging, more sophisticated chemical, physical, biological and mechanical characterization, and for nanolithography and nanomanipulation. There is a growing need for new multifunctional SPMs that can benefit multiple fields. To this end, the development proposed will involve the design, acquisition, and integration of various components to make a multifunctional SPM instrument. The plan is to develop a new type of SPM instrument equipped with a dip-pen nanolithography module, an optical microscope, an external electrical/electrochemical instrument and a temperature/gas/liquid controller to allow the analysis of various bio/nano materials. The newly-developed multifunctional SPM will also be used for demonstrations in laboratory classes and for K-12 laboratory experiences hosted at Rutgers. Access to the SPM will be made available to faculty and students at the numerous colleges in the neighboring area. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as studies of inorganic-organic hybrid materials, multi-functional materials, and nanomaterials for organic sodium ion batteries. The system will be used to investigate optical antennae, semiconductor ferroelectronics and graphene film production. It will also be used in bio-nano research including cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions, cell migrations, stem cell differentiations, protein misfolding, enzyme characterization/optimization, and biopolymer fabrication while maintaining an in vivo-like environment. By using the SPM tip as an electrode and combining it with an electrode holder and probe station, the electrical properties of target materials (e.g., conductance, resistance, capacitance, defects) can be analyzed precisely. The proposed system will also be available for analyzing the electrochemical characteristics of samples such as the corrosion, redox phenomenon, and deposition using different electrochemical techniques.
Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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