Facilities and Equipment

Wilmore LabsWe are based in the Materials Research & Education Center, which is located in Wilmore Laboratories. The building is located at the center of Auburn's engineering quadrant with only a 5-minute walk from Foy Hall, Haley Center and Shelby Engineering Center.

Wilmore Labs underwent a $14 million state-of-the-art renovation, which was completed in Fall 2001. The building holds more than 12,000 square feet of laboratory space, which includes a Class 100 clean room and equipment for the high-temperature processing of materials. A few examples of what our equipment can do include:

  • making single crystals by melting tungsten at more than 3400°C locally with an electron beam

  • simulating the effects of gravity on molten metals with large centrifuges

  • designing and building equipment to used on the International Space Station

Multi-disciplinary research with AUDFS may often find investigators and students working in laboratories across the campus (and off-campus) with many disciplines and fields of study. Listed below are some of the different buildings, laboratories and euipment that students and faculty working with AUDFS can access. 

Rouse Life Sciences Building

A complete array of microbiological instrumentation is available in Auburn University’s Rouse Life Sciences Building (College of Sciences and Mathematics). The facility houses standard biological instrumentation for the culturing, identification, and characterization of bacteria, including: 

  • BL-2 safety cabinets, autoclaves, automated media dispensers, spiral platers, a Dohrmann DC-180 carbon analyzer, a Narco 4300 CO2 incubator, a Perkin Elmer 3110 Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer, Olympus BH-2 microscopes with UV/fluorescence source and filter, a laser colony counter, a biological bacterial ID system, a BioRad Gel Doc system with a densitometer for scanning autoradiogram and protein gel images, genomic gel systems, a UV box for scanning wet DNA gels, a pulsed-field-gel-electrophoresis system for fingerprinting bacteria, various qPCR and PCR thermocyclers, DNA extraction and electrophoresis equipment, incubators, centrifuges, low-temperature incubators, pH meters, and biological safety cabinets. Other instrumentation includes oscilloscopes, Kron-Hite function generators and filters, 8-pole Bessel Filters, laboratory balances, vortex stirrers, tissue homogenizers, and sonicators. Also, there is a GUMP (genomics using multiple processors) facility used primarily for genetic analysis.

Greene Hall - College of Veterinary Medicine

SAM layer deposition is performed in Auburn University’s Greene Hall facilities (College of Veterinary Medicine).  The systems designed for fabrication and characterization of the monolayer and multilayer thin films include:

  • Two Langmuir-Blodgett Systems, three Olympus research microscopes (BH-2, BX-50, BX-51) equipped with the Aetos Technologies’ CytoViva 150TM high-resolution illumination system, an Olympus BH-2 fluorescence microscope, a Burleigh Atomic force microscope, an Ocean optics spectrofluorometer, five TMS optical tables, a Sony color video printer, and a Sony 9500 MD video recorder.  Imaging software in GAL includes Apple’s Imovie, Apple’s Final Cut Express 1.1, Sony Vegas MovieStudio 4.0, Adobe Photoshop CS, CADMAX Solid Master, AnalySIS Imager 3.2, Image-Pro Plus 2.0, Nero Express 2, The GIMP 2.2.3, Origin 6.0, Carl Zeiss Imaging Systems, NI IMAQ6.1 for LabVIEW, and Ocean Optics Software for Spectrometers, while imaging cameras in the lab include the SONY DXC – C33, SONY DXC – S500, ZEISS AxioCam HRC, OptroNics DEI – 470, and ColorView III.  

Instrumentation for the measurement of the electrochemical properties of artificial membranes includes:

  • A pneumatic picoPump PV800 for microinjections, a Mechanex BB-CH-PC computerized pipette puller for the manufacturing of microelectrodes used for measurements of cellular currents, a Stoelting DC-3K motorized micromanipulator with X,Y,Z-controller, a device for membrane capacitance and temperature monitoring, a chamber for solvent-free bilayers of large surface area, computer-controlled voltage clamps for planar bilayers, vibration-isolated laboratory tables, an inverted Olympus microscope, two Bausch and Lomb stereo microscopes, a Zeiss ICM 405 inverted microscope (with Phase contrast, DIC and fluorescence-contrasting optics, National Instruments video capture board, and Sony 8-bit video camera), a Shimadzu UV 1601 spectrophotometer, various electrophoresis systems, freezers, incubators, a microcentrifuge, a refrigerated model J-28 centrifuge, microbalances, macrobalances, fume hoods, positive flow cabinets for pouring media, dissecting microscopes, a Millipore milliQ water system, peristaltic pumps and columns for ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography, and other small items of equipment normally available in a molecular or microbiology laboratory.

Alabama Microelectronics Science and Technology Center (AMSTC) - Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

AMSTC cross-disciplinary research center investigating new concepts in microelectronics. AMSTC's research laboratories include: the Compound Semiconductor Laboratory in the Department of Physics; the Stress and Thermal Characterization Laboratories in the Departments of Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical Engineering; and the Advanced Packaging, Low-temperature, Electronics Materials, and Microelectronics Laboratories in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The laboratory is directed by full-time manager, Charles Ellis.  In addition, several full-time technicians and co-op students are employed to assist in the laboratory each semester.  This laboratory is equipped with facilities for cutting and polishing wafers for sensor devices, in addition to equipment for measurement of the surface roughness.  Masks for wrap-around electrode designs are fabricated by the students.  The lithography area is equipped with a semi-automatic spin coater.  Both proximity and contact mask aligners are available.  Class-100 laminar flow hoods are utilized in the critical processing areas.  A new, class-100 clean room has been added to enhance cleanliness for critical lithography operations.

Film deposition facilities include:

  • A CVC 601 RF and DC sputtering system; a CHA Mark 50C electron-beam evaporation system with ion-beam; a Denton Discovery 18 Sputter System; a low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) system; a plasma-enhanced CVD system; laminar flow fume hoods for wet chemical etching and substrate cleaning; Technics PE-IIA plasma system, three Matrix systems, and two state-of-the-art etching systems (STS ASE 100 Bosch DRIE and STS AOE Etch System) for dry etching capability; Dytek Quad Reactive ion etcher with four separate etching chambers; Mass flow controllers allow custom mixing of etchant gases.  

In-process characterization equipment includes:

  • A new Tencor Alpha-Step 200 surface profiler, a Sabastian multipurpose tester, a C-V plotter, a four-point probe, an ellipsometer, etc.  

Other equipment available for use by students, staff and faculty include a David-Mann 3000 pattern generator, a David-Mann 3095 step and repeat camera, a Karl Suss MA6 double-sided mask aligner, a Tempress Poly/Nitride LPCVD, a Varian e-beam with ion gun, a Plasma reactive ion etcher, an Applied Materials 8130 metal etcher, an Applied Materials 8110 oxide etcher, a Matrix 103 asher and Matrix 303 etcher, a rapid thermal annealer, a wafer saw, and a GCA photoresist coat track system.

Materials Research and Education Center (MREC)

Additional laboratory facilities for material characterization and for mechanical and thermal measurements are available through the MREC.  Located in Wilmore Labs, the MREC is home to materials and sensor characterization instrumentation, including:

  • A JOEL JSM-7000F Thermal Schottky field emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) with Princeton Gamma Tech EDS detector, HKL electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) detector, and Nabity E-beam lithography system; JOEL 2010 transmission electron microscope with Gatan First Light Digital Camera and Oxford 6498 INCA X-sight EDS system; and JOEL JSPM 5200 Environmental Scanning Probe Microscope with STM and AFM capabilities. 

Specimen preparation equipment include:

  • Fischione Model 1010 low angle ion mill and polisher; Pelco SC-6 sputter coater, SPI carbon coater; Fischione TEM dimpler and grinder; and Struers TigraPol 15 automated polisher. 

 In addition, MREC has numerous instruments to characterize magnetoelastic sensor operation, such as the following:

  • Two HP 8753 spectrum/network analyzers, an HP4396B Network/Spectrum/ Impedance Analyzer, an Agilent 4294A impedance analyzer; a SRS SR844 RF and SRS SR830 DSP lock-in amplifiers; a Trek model 610D High voltage amplifier/controller; a Radiant technologies model P-HVI and P-LC100 high voltage interface and LC analyzer; a TA Instrument DSC system; four Maxtec PM 740; and two Maxtec TM 400 TSM systems for measurements of resonance frequency, impendence, phase shift, and film conductivity.  

A Vector spectrum/network analysis system is available in the lab for precise, low-noise measurement of electrical parameters at frequencies up to 50 GHz.  MREC also has a Signatone J-200 probe station with Trio-Tech temperature controlled stage.  The probe station is mounted on a vibration/isolation table and is capable of performing rapid, accurate testing of devices at temperatures from -50 to 85°C.  The MREC has its own class-100 clean room with a Denton 3 gun sputtering system and a Kurt Lesker Nano 38 three source thermal evaporator.

Biological/chemical sensor characterization facilities in Class IIA/B3 Biosafety Laboratories include:

  • the Axela DotLab Biosensor system, SH Instruments Scanning Electrochemical Microscope, Photon Technology Quanta Master QM-4 Spectrofluorometer, Research International Analyte 2000 Fiber Optics compact fluorimeter, Ocean Optics USB2000-FLG Spectrofluorometer, Genesis 6 UV-VIS spectrophotometer, CV-50 Potentiostat, three SpreetaTM Surface Plasmon Resonance system, Nomadics SensiQ SPR system, Array Biosensor system from NRL, Flow-injection Biosensor System “Arfa,” ELISA plate reader, Langmuir-Blodgett trough, CytoViva dark-field microscope with CCD camera, binocular microscope with CCD camera, peristaltic pumps, refrigerated table top centrifuge, plasma cleaner, optical table, shakers, water baths, cooling/heating flow ultrathermostat, pippettors, Harvey programmable autoclaves, analytical microbalances, pH- and Ion- meters, UV light source EFOS, Millipore type I water purification systems, refrigerators and freezers, inverted fluorescent microscope (Carl Zeiss, Axiovert 40) with a digital video capture and recording system, a stereomicroscope (Carl Zeiss, Stemi 2000), and microfluidic controller systems (Fluidigm, BOB3), a modified thermal stage (Eppendorf, Mastercycler Gradient) with flat block temperature change and temperature gradient capabilities from 4 to 99 °C of dynamic range with the control accuracy of 0.2°C for microfluidic gene amplification reaction, and a high-resolution bioarray detection system (Applied Precision, ArrayWoRX), which is specially modified for nano/microfluidic systems development.

Poultry Science Building - Department of Poultry Science

 This facility has state-of-the-art microbiological and chemistry laboratory space available to center researchers.  The primary contribution is in providing microbiological support.  Approximately 5,000 square feet of primary lab space is available for this microbiological support, with an additional 2,000 square feet of support (e.g., media prep) laboratory space available.  Capabilities represented include cultural identification and detection of foodborne pathogens; phenotypic and genotypic (PCR, PFGE, etc.) characterization of foodborne bacteria; enumeration of bacteria, etc.  One laboratory is dedicated to anaerobic bacteriology. The Poultry Science Building also houses the university’s BSL-3 laboratory (300 square feet), which will go far in supporting new and future needs of AUDFS center researchers dealing with class 3 organisms.

COMING SOON: Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Technology

Construction has begun on a $28.8 million, 84,000-square-fooscience center, funded by a $14.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology and matching dollars supplied by the State of Alabama along with support from Auburn University and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.

The new center will feature 20 laboratories as well as shared support spaces and specialized equipment areas for scientific research in bioenergy, water quality, food safety, genomics, information science and ecosystem health.

Additional Resources

The project has full access to an excellently equipped Machine Shop (with full CNC machining capabilities) and a fully equipped Electronics Shop maintained by AU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.  Technical support for machining, electronics and equipment maintenance required for the project is provided by MREC/Mechanical Engineering staff.  The project has full access to network support staff from AU’s Engineering Network Services and Division of University Computing.  The project also has full access to secretarial and bookkeeping support from the AU MREC and Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2016