Materials Characterization

To Set Up a User Account:

Account Setup

To Place an Order:

Place an Order

The Materials Characterization Lab is a user research facility in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Utah. The lab offers researchers access to a wide-range of analytical instrumentation and services.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)


  • Secondary electron resolution: 3.5nm to 50nm (sample dependent)
  • Backscatter electron resolution: 5.5nm to 100nm (sample dependent)
  • Magnification: 15 to 100,000x
  • Filament: Tungsten filament
  • Accelerating voltage: 0.3 to 30 kV

Panalytical X’Pert X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD)


  • Angles between 10-135 degrees 2theta
  • Suitable for inorganic materials
  • Powders and solid materials at ambient temperatures
  • Particle sizing on nanomaterials
  • Pattern analysis using a ICSD database with 100,000+ material catalog
  • Rietveld analysis

Tabletop Instron (5969)


  • Maximum Capacity: 50kN (5,000 kg, 11,250 lb)
  • Test Speed Range: 0.001 to 600 mm/min (0.00004 to 24 in/min)
  • 50 kN Wedge Action Grips
  • Strain Gauge Extensometer, 1 in gauge length
  • Bluehill 3 Testing Software

Bruker D2 Phaser XRD


  • 2theta angles form 1-150 degrees
  • Rotating Sample Stage (phi rotation)
  • State of the art Lynxeye Detector
  • Phase Identification with EVA Software
  • COD Database
  • Suitable for powder materials

Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTIR) with Attentuated Total Reflectance (ATR)


  • Mid-IR Source
  • KBr Beam-Splitter
  • DTGS (Deuterated Tri-Glycine Sulfate) Detector
  • Approximate Range: 7,500-400 (cm^-1)
  • Diamond ATR Crystal Accessory



  • Approximate Range: 175-3300 nm
  • UV/Vis Resolution: <= 0.05 nm
  • NIR Resolution: <= 0.20 nm
  • Integrating Sphere – 150 mm PbS Module Accessory
    • Reflectance Range: 200-2500 nm
    • Transmittance: 190-2500 nm
  • Universal Reflectance Accessory (URA)
    • Automated Angular Range 8 degrees – 65 degrees in 0.5″ steps
    • Range: 175-3300 nm

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)


  • TBA

Gold Sputterer


  • Fast DC Sputtering of gold or palladium



  • Material thermal expansion testing
  • Temperature: RT – 1,200 degrees C
  • Atmospheres: Air, Ar, N2

Optical Microscopes

LECO Polisher


  • Six Sample Holder



On Campus User Off Campus User
Running Time $40/Hour $60/Hour
Operator $15/Hour $25/Hour
Gold Sputter Coating WITH use of SEM* $20/Hour $25/Hour
Gold Sputter Coating WITHOUT use of SEM* $40/Hour $40/Hour
CD $1 $1

XRD: D2 Phaser and X’Pert

On Campus User Off Campus User
Running Time $30/Hour $70/Hour
Operator $15/Hour $25/Hour
Data Processor $20/Hour $20/Hour


On Campus User Off Campus User
Running Time $20/Hour $30/Hour
Operator $5/Hour $5/Hour
Training $15/Hour $25/Hour


On Campus User Off Campus User
Running Time $20/Hour $40/Hour
Operator $15/Hour $25/Hour



Detailed information for setting up an account and placing an order:


To set up a user account: click on the red “Account Setup” button at the top of the overview page. This will take you to links with a form to fill out. There will be different forms if you are an on-campus user or an off-campus user. When you fill out the form completely, the last line on the page that says “(complete form to submit)” will turn from red to green and then you will be able to submit it (This includes filling out the Acknowledge Legal Responsibility part near the bottom of the form).


Once you submit a work authorization form, your PI will get an Email message with a hyperlink, used to approve or deny the work authorization. There are 72 hours to use that link. If your PI does not approve or deny within 72 hours we will need to set up a new link. After approval, people in the core administration office at the U will enter the authorization into the system and will send you an Email with a username and with password information that will allow you to place your orders.


To place an order: click on the red “Place an Order” button at the top of the overview page. This will take you to a login page. Once you have logged in, you will see a page that will allow you to select for various U of Utah Services. The CIHD specific services are: Iron and Heme (this core), Metabolomics, and Mutation Generation. Click on the appropriate selection. Once you have reached the Services for Iron & Heme page you will be able to select the desired service. There are five different types of buttons for each service that we provide (colored differently). Different types of users pay different rates. The five types are: CIHD Member Internal (U of Utah) academic, CIHD Member External academic, CIHD-NonMember Internal (U of Utah) academic, CIHD-NonMember External academic, and Commercial. Members of the CIHD do not pay tech time.


Spring Semester Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday 9AM to 5 PM MST

Saturday and Sunday Closed


Sean Clancy, Director

Angela Nelson, Administrative Officer


University of Utah

Meldrum Civil Engineering Building (MCE) Room 1325

110 Central Campus Drive

Salt Lake City, UT 84112