University of Southern California


Previous Core Instrumentation Recipients

2016 Core Instrumentation Fund Awardees

Awardee: John O’Brien
Equipment: SUSS MicroTec Double-sided Mask Aligner
Facility: Center of Excellence in Nanofabrication

This is a key pattern definition tool for the nanofabrication core facility. The proposed mask aligner will be installed when it arrives in the current nanofabrication facility, and then it will be moved into the new cleanroom when it opens. The nanofabrication core facility supports the research efforts of between 25 and about 33 research groups at any one time. This proposal represents a continuing effort to upgrade the fabrication tools in the lab.

Awardee: Steve Nutt
Equipment: Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer
Facility: Center of Excellence for Microscopy and Analysis

This spectrometer will enable USC researchers to quickly identify trace elements in their materials, measure the thickness of thin film heterostructures, and resolve spectroscopic peak overlaps. The instrument will provide a tool for accurate, quick, nondestructive, and quantitative bulk material analysis.

Awardee: Travis Williams
Equipment: PPMS Expansion Tools
Facility: Center of Excellence for Molecular Characterization

The acquisition of several pieces of equipment that will expand and empower the capabilities of an existing Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS) system at USC. The PPMS is an open
architecture, variable temperature and magnetic field cryostat for characterizing the magnetic and electrical transport properties of materials. Intended to enhance our ability to characterize electrical transport in highly resistive materials as encountered in semiconducting oxides, highk dielectrics, nanoparticle thin films, and organic/hybrid photovoltaic devices.

Awardee: John O’Brien
Equipment: Oxford Instruments PlasmaPro System 100/1 Seco
Facility: Vivian Hall of Engineering

The reactive ion etching (RIE) tool would compliment the PECVD facility. The PECVD facility allows cleanroom users to deposit thin films of silicon dioxide and silicon nitride. The RIE tool is used to pattern these thin films. This tool will be used by all of the research groups in the facility and the films that are patterned are part of a set of fundamental processes involved in lithographically patterning semiconductors.

Awardee: Xiaojiang Chen
Equipment: MicroCal Isothermal Titration Calorimeters (MicroCal PEAQ-ITC)
Facility: Nanobiophysics core facility

MicroCal ITC is the instrument that can directly measures heat released or absorbed during biochemical binding events, from which it calculates binding affinity (KD), stoichiometry (n), enthalpy (ΔH), and entropy (ΔS). It is widely used to study the biomolecular interactions between molecules as well as changes in conformation. The applications range from fundamental research such as the understanding and regulation of signal transduction pathways to drug discovery.

2015 Core Instrumentation Fund Awardee

Awardee: David Hinton
Equipment: N-STORM Single Molecule Super-Resolution and Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope system.
Facility: Cell and Tissue Imaging Core Facility

The N-STORM allows imaging of biological samples with a 20 fold increase in resolution of conventional confocal microscopes. The imaging method consists of sequentially activating individual photoswitchable fluorophores on biological samples to build super-resolved images of biological processes with a precision better than 20 nm

Previous Awardees