Atom Probe Tomography (APT) produces a three-dimensional (3D) atom-by-atom image of a sample, with sub-nanometer spatial resolution and a typically 150 x 150 x 500 nm^3 analyzed volume, by simultaneous high resolution imaging and time of flight mass spectrometry. APT is particularly suited to study nano or nanostructured materials. The same samples can also be characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), in a correlative study. To compare these experimental results with atomistic simulations on the same size scale, ab-initio calculations and Monte-Carlo simulations can be performed at our facility. NUCAPT operates a CAMECA LEAP 5000XS tomograph. Specimen tips can be prepared by electropolishing (metals) and from almost any material by FIB ( Focused-ion beam milling ). Ion beam sputter deposition creates thin film structures that aid with APT specimen preparation. Vacuum arc melting systems are available for syntesizing alloys and compounds. Thermocalc and MEDEA software packages are available for thermodynamic calculations and materials simulations. For more information about this facility, click here.
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 Electron 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 provides researchers with access to cryo and conventional electron microscopy of biological and soft matter samples with 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.
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.
The Pathology Core Facility (PCF) of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) at Northwestern University is established in 1997. PCF is functionally divided into three divisions/units, including core lab, biorepository and clinical trials unit. Core lab includes all related tasks of routine histology, immunohistochemistry, molecular work, and digital pathology (all aspects of a research-based anatomic pathology laboratory including formalin fixation and paraffin embedding, automated and manual immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray design and construction, and automated whole slide scanning for digital pathology applications, including advanced image analysis capabilities). Biorepository division includes tissue and biospecimen procurement (a workflow that complements clinical patient care, the consent procedures which include statement of basic, translational and clinical research and PDX studies for potential therapies), detailed sample annotation (pre-analytic variables such as cold post-surgery time, frozen section evaluation, specimen tracking, and a quality management program); and well-controlled biospecimens and procedures (ensuring that clinically meaningful and reproducible data emerge from investigation). The clinical trials unit (CTU) provides service of institution, regional and national network and prepares trial cases of fast turnaround time and high quality trial materials and patients’ satisfaction. In conjunction with the Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office, the clinical trials unit participates in both industry based clinical trials and investigator initiated clinical trials.
The High Throughput Analysis Laboratory (HTAL) provides academic, industrial, and private researchers with equipment and expertise for the development and execution of high throughput biological analysis and screening. The facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art liquid handling, plate detection and automated microbial culture handling capabilities. For more information about this facility, click here.
Analytical BioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC) houses research equipment for the evaluation of materials and biological preparations in the bionanotechnology laboratory. The core primarily serves Northwestern University researchers, and is open for visiting scientists and local industry researchers.
Some of the ANTEC equipment is unique to Chicago campus, including: Zetasizer Nano ZSP for zeta potential measurements, molecular weight determination, and advanced characterization of proteins, polymers, and other macromolecules; a state-of-the-art Cytation3 Automated Imager and Multimodal Plate Reader for fluorescence, luminescence, absorption assays and automatic cell imaging; two FreeZone 6 lyophilizers for freeze drying of biological and synthetic materials, a SpectraMax M5 Microplate Reader, a real-time CFX-Connect PCR detection system, a Kodak gel imaging system, an Azure300 Chemiluminescence Imager and a refrigerated centrifuge. NanoSight NS300 with a fluorescence detection capability for nanoparticle characterization, will be located in the J-Wing of Evanston Tech building.
The Center for Translational Imaging (CTI) is the Department of Radiology's MRI research facility that is capable of human and animal (rabbit, rat, mouse) MRI. Most recently it also provides advanced nuclear imaging capabilities (micro-PET/CT). CTI has the infrastructure and staff to support all types of imaging research studies. For more information about this facility, click here.
The Biological Imaging Facility (BIF) is a shared-use research and training resource available to all NU researchers. BIF is organized so users can prepare samples, capture and analyze images, and create final presentations in one facility. Training for all instruments is available on a regular basis so users can acquire data quickly and efficiently. We are continuously looking for new ways to enhance existing equipment, acquire new tools, and keep pace with current techniques. For more information about this facility, click here.
The Quantitative Bio-element Imaging Center (QBIC) provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art imaging and quantification instrumentation while supporting its use with an expert technical staff that offers a range of services, including instrument training, sample preparation and analysis, experiment design, and grant proposal assistance. The combination of both extremely high sensitivity elemental analysis and high resolution imaging enables QBIC customers to perform cutting edge experiments with ample staff support. For more information about this facility, click here.
The Center for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) at Northwestern offers state-of-the art instrumentation and services for the study of biological processes at the whole animal, tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. The facility's basic services include electron microscopy, super resolution microscopy (SIM & STORM), fluorescent laser scanning and spinning disk microscopy, fluorescent lifetime imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy microscopy, automated high throughput tissue cytometry, laser capture microdissection, mutliphoton imaging, and whole animal bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging. Additionally we provide microinjection equipment, chambers for stable live cell observation, and anesthesia equipment. CAM staff members provide training on numerous different instrument platforms, consultation on experiment design, as well as digital image processing and image analysis. We are a reference site for several companies including TissueGnostics and ISS (developer of the ISS ALBA). CAM is one of three Nikon Imaging Centers in the US, allowing us access and excellent support from Nikon to develop innovative solutions for the cutting edge imaging needs of users. This relationship has allowed our users to push super-resolution technologies to permit multi-color, 3D and live-cell applications. Additionally, we have been working together with Nikon to add confocal laser scanning to a low magnification upright dissection microscope, which is particularly useful to researchers interested in visualizing thick samples (such as epidermal raft cultures) at increased cellular resolution. We are also currently expanding our full service electron microscopy offerings. Recently, we obtained a Leica Freeze Substitution Unit for TEM sample preparation allowing for improved sample quality and streamlined work-flow.
Please feel free to contact us with questions.