Research Centers & Facilities

MSU's research facilities and centers provide core infrastructure and research expertise to support of a broad range of nanotechnology research. Information about these nanotechnology assets is provided below.


NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program

Center for Advanced Microscopy

The Center for Advanced Microscopy, a University Core Facility, is the central microscopy laboratory for the MSU campus. Teaching, research, and service work are provided in scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy. All equipment is available to trained users on a 24/7 basis. Access to equipment is also available via operator assistance (service work).

  • JEOL 6400 scanning electron microscope, LaB6 emitter, Oxford INCA energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.
  • JEOL 6300F scanning electron microscope, field emission emitter, ultrahigh resolution.
  • JEOL 2200FS transmission electron microscope, 200 kV, field emission emitter, ultrahigh resolution, Oxford INCA energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), scanning transmission mode (STEM).
  • JEOL 100CXII transmission electron microscope.
  • Zeiss 510 Meta confocal laser scanning microscope, spectral detection, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy; five lasers (red, yellow, and green HeNe, argon, and 405 nm diode).
  • Olympus FV 1000 confocal laser scanning microscope, four lasers (red and green HeNe, argon, and 405 nm diode), stereology capable.
  • Zeiss Pascal confocal laser scanning microscope, three lasers (red and green HeNe, and argon).
  • Meridian InSight confocal laser scanning microscope, two lasers (argon and krypton), slit scanning.
  • Digital Instruments Nanoscope III scanning probe microscope , atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy.
  • A full array of sample preparation equipment including sputter coaters, critical point driers, vacuum evaporators, an ion mill, and ambient temperature and a cryo ultramicrotome.



Center for Nanostructured Biomimetic Interfaces

(Director: R. Mark Worden) - The State of Michigan has world-class expertise and infrastructure related to membrane proteins. The Center for Nanostructured Biomimetic Interfaces (CNBI) is a multidisciplinary, multiinstitutional center of excellence that broadens the scope of this expertise to include both the membrane proteins and the functional interfaces in which they are embedded. The mission of the CNBI is to develop nanostructured, biomimetic interfaces (i.e., artificial cell membranes) that express membrane-protein activities and can be used to produce high-value devices and processes.



Center for Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins

(Director: R. Michael Garavito) - This center, which is the successor to a resource found in the MCSB, was established in 2004. The mission of the center is to expand the capacity for membrane protein production at MSU in support of membrane protein structural biology and biotechnology. The center is focusing its efforts into four technology projects designed to provide proof of principal for new protein expression techniques and strategies.



Composite Materials and Structures Center

The Composite Materials and Structures Center and its affiliated laboratories occupy The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Institute for Materials Research in the College of Engineering. The 46,000 net-square-foot facility houses such laboratories as the Surface Spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, the Polymer and Composite Processing Laboratory, the Lecture and Demonstration Laboratory, the Composite Manufacturing Laboratory, the Process Development Laboratory, the Interfacial Characterization Laboratory, the Fabrication and Thermal Characterization Laboratory, and the Mechanical Characterization Laboratory. A full time staff of 4 technicians and 6 professional staff members is available for fabrication, testing and characterization of composite materials.



Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science maintains a wide scope of analytical characterization instruments and expertise to support research. Our facilities are available to researchers from across campus and from outside the MSU community. For access to the facilities and/or additional information, please contact Prof. Martin Crimp at or (517) 355-0294.

  • CamScan 44FE field emission gun scanning electron microscope
  • Hitachi S-2500C scanning electron microscope
  • Hitachi H-800 transmission electron microscope
  • Sintag XDS2000 T-2T diffractometer
  • Sintag XDS2000 4-angle pole figure diffractometer
  • Seifert Debye-Scheer and Laue source Debyeflex 1001



Engineering Research Complex Cleanroom

The purpose of the Engineering Research Complex Cleanroom is to provide the necessary facilities for standard lithography processes used in the fabrication of semiconductor devices and MEMS structures. The cleanroom has recently been renovated to improve the cleanliness of the cleanroom, so the walls, floor, HVAC system, and air filtering system have all been upgraded.

  • 950 square foot class 1,000 environment containing 7 class 100 work areas
  • Suss MJB3 submicron mask aligner
  • KJ Lesker AXXIS system with DC Sputtering, RF sputtering, 4-pocket E-Beam, and glow discharge
  • Oxford PECVD system for SiO2, and Si3N4 deposition.
  • Gaertner model 115B elipsometer
  • Zeiss differential interference contrast microscope
  • Diffusion furnaces
  • Resist and cleaning equipment
  • Wafer probing and test equipment
  • PlasmaQuest ECR - RIE etching system



Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Laser Applications

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Laser Applications, in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), provides innovative R&D services based on its expertise in coating and laser technology. We are a non-profit organization providing research services to our customers who include federal and state governments, multinational corporations, and small to medium-size companies. Services include new product and process development, application development, design and integration of production and pilot systems on-site at customer facilities, consulting and training.



Michigan Center for Structural Biology

(Co-Directors: S. Ferguson-Miller and J. Preiss) - The MCSB is centered at Michigan State University, but has established or expanded of facilities at the other founding institutions by providing state-of-the-art instrumentation to examine the molecular structure and function of biomolecules. A major effort by the MCSB has been made to create a collaborative, synergistic research environment among and between universities and industry, to promote major advances in understanding of protein structure and function. Some of the primary "open-access" facilities we have established are listed below:



Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team

(Director: Wayne Anderson) - The LS-CAT is is a national facility to determine the structure of biological macromolecules using X-ray diffraction. Located at at Sector 21 of the Argonne National Laboratory, the LS-CAT involves Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, the Van Andel Research Institute, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois Urbana, and Northwestern University. The project is split into two separate phases. The first phase will bring online a state of the art facility with fully tunable and highly focused radiation (21ID-D). Completion of the second phase will result in three additional high brightness but fixed/moderately tunable energy stations (21ID-F, 21ID-G and 21ID-H).



The Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Laboratory

(Co-Director: John McCracken) - A state-of-the-art 95 GHz/9 GHz (pulse cw) EPR spectrometer is the first of its kind in the US. It is a powerful tool for analysis of the mechanism of metalloproteins and of membrane protein interactionswith lipid bilayers.



The Laser Laboratory

(Co-Director: Warren Beck) - A femtosecond laser system with new Raman and photon-echo capabilities has been installed that is capable of analyzing the most ambitious problems in biochemistry and biophysics. The new instrument can detect the motions of biological macromolecules during reactions such as enzyme catalysis and protein folding.



The Protein Expression Laboratory

(Director: R. Mark Worden) - in Engineering at MSU has resources for computer-controlled fermentation at the 1-10 liter scale, as well as a 100 liter fermenter to be operational in early 2005. PEL personnel are available to aid investigators in large-scale expression of proteins. Its mission is to provide resources for protein production to support X-ray crystallography, NMR analysis, and biotechnology programs.



The NMR Laboratory

(Directors: Dr. Daniel Holmes and Mr. Kermit Johnson) - The Max T. Rogers NMR Facility is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art NMR technology as well as exceptional NMR expertise. The Facility has 12 NMR spectrometers including a 900 MHz Bruker Avance NMR spectrometer that is equipped to provide exceptional performance for both liquid- as well as solid-state applications.


W. M. Keck Microfabrication Facility

This is part of the Center for Fundamental Materials Research located on the MSU campus. Users must sign up for time slots, but the facility is readily available (equipment fees vary for individual systems).

  • Hitachi S-4700II Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope
  • JEOL 840A Scanning Electron Microscope and Electron Beam Lithography
  • Scanning Probe Microscope - Dimension 3100 SPM
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS)
  • Optical Microscope with Normarski differential interference contrast and bright/dark field
  • Edwards Thin Film Deposition Equipment
  • AB-M mask aligner
  • Dektak3 Surface Profiler
  • MicroAutomation 1006 Dicing saw



Genome Sequencing Project for Galdieria sulphuraria

(NSF EF-0332882; PI: A. Weber) - The red micro-alga G. sulphuraria (Cyanidiales) is a unicellular and extremophilic eukaryote that is adapted to living in hot sulfur springs (pH 0.05 to 4; to 56C). The thermo-acidophilic eukaryote represents a particular interesting species for structural genomics and biosensor development owing to its extraordinary metabolic versatility such as heterotrophic and mixotrophic growth on more than 50 different carbon sources and its tolerance to high concentrations of toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, aluminum or nickel. An EST library and high-throughput genomic sequence reads covering > 70% of the G. sulphuraria genome are now publicly available.