The Keck-II Center was established in late 2001 through the support of W. M. Keck Foundation. Keck-II also has received some support from Northwestern's Institute for Nanotechnology's NSF-sponsored Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center (NSEC) as well as from the State of IL and Northwestern. Keck-II facilitates research, collaboration, education and outreach in all science from soft biological matter to hard physical matter, specializing in surface analysis and nano-scale characterization. 

Keck-II hosts Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Confocal Raman System, High Resolution Stylus Profilometer, 3D Optical MicroscopeSpectroscopic Ellipsometer, and Zetasizer.

Keck-II is open to all the faculty and students at Northwestern University as well as the researchers at the nearby academic institutions and related industrial companies. The Keck-II Center operates and functions like its sister facilities (SPID and EPIC)-based on the core philosophy of open-access, hand-on training, collaboration and assistance from our able staff. Training is offered on a periodic basis, both as “crash courses” or part of hands-on structured courses, as well as individual ad-hoc training as need arises.

SPID was created to drive interdisciplinary research bridging the gap between hard nanostructures, soft materials, biological sciences, quantitative mechanical and electrical analysis and nanopatterning. SPID provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for atomic to molecular imaging. It supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology characterization needs at nanoscale by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff. Research at SPID encompasses physical and chemical sciences, engineering and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Every week, several new users coming from NU campuses, academia, industry, and government laboratories learn to use tools available in the center to carry out their research projects.

The primary focus of SPID is to provide both quantitative and qualitative scanning probe microscopy and biomaterials nanopatterning based highly advanced instrumentations to enable materials, nanopatterning and biomedical research by a diverse group of scientists, industries and clinicians representing numerous disciplines. SPID works in partnership with several industrial partners and specifically Bruker Metrology Surface Division to develop advanced instrumentation for quantitative analysis. SPID serves as a hub for numerous global partnerships both in terms of facility development and research.

For more information about this facility, click HERE

NU Fabrication (NUFAB) has cleanroom facilities in Cook Hall and the Tech Institute. NUFAB_Tech contains state-of-the-art equipment for characterization, deposition, etching-ashing, photolithography and wet processing in newly-built 6000 square-foot class 100 and class 1000 cleanrooms. It supports research in all areas of science, engineering, medicine, and interdisciplinary fields. It provides nanofabrication equipment and technical expertise to Northwestern as well as other academic and industrial researchers.

The Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) facility offers a wide range of electron microscopy (both transmission and scanning), accessory instrumentation, and expertise to the scientific and engineering community through education, collaboration, and service. The laboratory provides facilities for the preparation and examination of many types of bulk and thin specimens (foils/films), fine particles, and replicas, including biological materials, by transmission and scanning electron microscopy.

Collectively, the Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) offers instrumentation, techniques, and expertise for all aspects of microstructure materials. Detailed information about surface morphology, size and shape analysis, local chemistry, crystallography, and texture can be obtained with the scanning electron microscopes (SEM). The SEM facility has five SEMs with digital image acquisition, including four equipped with field emission gun (FEG), EDS, WDS, and EBSD systems. The facility also has a dual beam SEM/FIB and both Ion and Electron Beam Lithography capabilities.  The transmission electron microscopes (TEM) allow researchers to probe the crystal structure, defects, local chemistry, electronic structure, and related information at the nanometer or less length scale. The TEM facility currently has four TEMs, including Scanning Transmission Electorn Microscopy (STEM) capabilities. The Hitachi HD2300 STEM is configured with a unique dual EDS system for ultrahigh collection angle EDS, The in-situ S/TEM HT7700 comes with a set of special specimen holders for in-situ experiments. The JEOL JEM2100F FEG TEM/STEM has sub 0.2nm probe capability, equipped with high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) detector, which gives atomic resolution of Z-contrast imaging of STEM. Three of the microscopes are equipped with Liquid Nitrogen cryo stages for biological sample observations.  The BioCryo facility of EPIC provides researchers with access to cryo electron microscopy and to an array of electron-probe based imaging and microanalytical methods. Techniques include SE-, TE-, and Z-contrast imaging, electron diffraction, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). 

Both SEM and TEM facilities are equipped with specialized specimen stages for dynamic studies involving deformation, fracture, current transport, applied electrical and magnetic fields, and temperature variation from -184 ° C to 1000 ° C. The diversity and quality of SEM and TEM instrumentation, along with the numerous analytical accessories, makes EPIC one of the most advanced laboratories in the country.  The BioCryo facility offers expertise and support for planning and conducting cryo and conventional electron microscopy studies on biological samples (e.g. suspensions of molecules and particles, cells and tissues), as well as on nanoparticles, polymers, hydrogels, and other materials. Researchers can be trained to become independent users of our instrumentation and techniques. For more information on this facility, click here.