Our Lab

Our laboratory is on the 4th floor of Otto Maass building (room 429):

Laurell Spin-coater (Model WS-400A-6NPP/Lite)

This versatile instrument is used to deposit thin films of polymers or sol-gel onto hard surfaces such as glass or silicon wafers.

Optrel Multiskop

A versatile optical setup used for Ellipsometry, Surface Plasmon Spectroscopy (SPS), Waveguide modes, and Brewster Angle Microscopy (BAM). Mostly used for Ellipsometry, has the ability to measure thicknesses of thin films to within a couple angstrom accuracy. Here a home-built liquid cell is used to do under water Ellipsometry to measure swelling and swelling rates of polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) in water.

Contact Angle

Here is a home-built contact angle apparatus which uses a tiny needle to dispense small drops of a liquid onto a surface monitored using a high resolution camera. Contact angles can be used to calculate surface energies of a film just angstroms thick and provides valuable information about surface chemistry which would otherwise be difficult to determine.

Cary spectrometer

Used for acquiring ultraviolet-visible absorption spectra. A workhorse instrument in our lab, it is used to analyze the new, colourful materials being synthesized in our laboratory. It can be used to acquire spectra of a variety of sample types, as well as acquiring basic kinetic data.

Renishaw micro-Raman spectrometer

Owned by Dr. Ian Butler and housed in our optics laboratory. This instrument sees a considerable amount of collaborative use by our group to analyze sol-gel samples, novel small-molecules synthesized in our wet laboratory, as well as samples under high external pressure in the Diamond Anvil Cell, also furnished by the Butler research group.

Nikon dissecting microscope

Housed in our optics laboratory. Used for preparation of samples for high-pressure experimentation, examining polymeric and sol-gel coatings, and imagining of small samples via the camera port. The polarized light source also makes it useful for assessing the quality of samples for single-crystal x-ray diffraction.