Our Reseach Laboratories are located in the new Engineering Research Building. Take a virtual tour of our facilites below.
Nanotechnology research laboratory will provide advances in smart, strong and lightweight materials fabrication and characterization for aircrafts and other industries; strong and functional medical diagnostic and treatment; faster, smaller, cheaper electronics and communication devices; clean energy and manufacturing; saving resources/row materials using lesser materials; environmental monitoring and mitigation in the state of Kansas. In the future, this laboratory will also provide us with new solutions to face the world's greatest challenges. Our main goal is to offer services to Kansas`s highly valued citizens for the educational, social and economical developments in many areas. We have currently the following equipments in our nanotechnology laboratory: atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Vis spectroscopy, UV photolithography, spin coater, zeta sizer / zeta potential, plasma cleaner, capacitance bridge, ESA nanofilm coating unit, electrospinning unit, etching, DC power and corrosion units, etc. In addition to these, we need transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), lasers, etc. for more advanced studies. Manufacturing lighter and stronger aircrafts, fighting deadly diseases and cleaning up the environment will not be overwhelming as nanotechnology advances at WSU.
Nano and biocomposites could be used in various applications such as aerospace systems, bioengineering and the like.Compared with conventional materials, these composites can be lighter, stronger, and more durable.The challenges lie in controlling and improving the material properties and making the manufacturing process more reliable and affordable.This laboratory is involved with design and development of new classes of composites for aerospace and biomedical applications.
This laboratory focuses on the research, evaluation, and development of technologies related to aircraft and automotive crashworthiness and occupant protection of transportation systems.Specific projects may relate to occupant injury biomechanics, biodynamic response evaluation, vehicle safety devices, restraint systems, interior component testers, and seat certification. The equipment in the includes a component Head Injury Criteria tester developed for certification of aircraft seats and interior components, a bowling ball tester, instrumented crash test dummies or dummy parts, and impact drop testers for quantification of materials performances due to impact or at high strain rates. The lab will have the collaboration of the seat manufacturers, safety devices and equipment makers, aircraft and automotive industries, FAA, NASA, and other research organization with similar research, interests.
Development of Biodevices is one of the fastest growing research interest within the broad Bio/Nano technology field.A Biodevice can be defined as instrumentation used to measure, control, and direct processes in a biological environment. This is a multi-disciplinary field with applications in biomedical, agricultural, biofuel, degradable polymers, and bioenvironment. Faculty in the CoE and across the institution will be able to utilize the facilities in such a laboratory to conduct research, including funded and student research. The laboratory can house sophisticated equipment to fabricate various forms of sensors including piezoelectric, thermomechanical, and other Bio-MEMS devices, to measure cellular forces, testing develop, to develop and fabricate micro pumps, filters, mixers, reactors, and separators, rehab and ergonomic devices, and Lab-on-Chip devices (i.e., Glucose/oxygen monitoring systems.). A Wet Laboratory Unit capable of tissue preparation and tissue culture and analysis will be part of this BioDevice laboratory.
A group proposal was submitted by 11 faculty members from CoE for several important equipment purchase. A sum of 225,000 was allocated for the purchase of Trion Technology Phantom III Reactive Ion Etching machine, and a Wet Etching machine from Chemcut Corporation. Both these machines combined together provides this laboratory with etching different materials including Silicon, aluminum Alloys, and polymers with structures of size range less than 100 microns. The Biodevice laboratory will be useful for people working in the biomaterial and electronic manufacturing research. The total floor area for this lab amounts to 716 sq. feet, which includes 174.6 sq. ft (Rm 133 for Li-Ion facilities), 111.2 sq. ft (Rm 135 for RIE machine), and 430 sq. feet (Rm 146 NE corner for Wet Etching machine).
Research is primarily focused on laser materials processing for enhanced surface durability using micro/nano coatings and study of their tribological properties, microvia/nanovia in MEMS applications, surface micro/nano modifications for applications (like for better drug storage in biomedical devices), functionally graded materials processing and thermography, and other laser based flexible fabrication processes.The Laser materials Processing and Nanotechnology lab has the following two lasers that are currently in use.
1. A 20 W diode blue-green from Coherent® laser, control system, heat exchanger, fluid bed in a vibration free pad and optics.
2. A 750 W pulsed microsecond CO2 laser from Coherent® along with a 5 W He-Ne laser for focusing and marking, and a laser control system. It is coupled with a 1.5 HP air cooled closed loop indoor chiller for cooling this high power laser. This unit is made to work with the Coherent J-3 laser. It has proprietary software designed for optimum performance in a very small footprint. It comes standard with large digital display, and a turbine pump. Uses R134a with over-temperature protection and failsafe heater control with a reservoir capacity of 13.25 liters and a working temperature range of 5 degrees to 90 degrees celsius. It has a cooling capacity of 17,732 BTU/hr with a condenser discharge airflow of 1070 CFM. Also included are a xyz stage connected to a computer, deionized water for the chiller system, argon inert gas for materials processing and optics for beam transport and modifications.[See Catalog]
SMRL is devoted to development of new multifunctional soft matters for sustainable energy and electronic applications via exploring fundamental science and engineering of various soft matter systems including polymer materials, biomaterials, and their hybrid materials. The research in SMRL also explores the basic materials chemistry and physics in materials fabrication/processing and applications. The ultimate goal of SMRL is to create new generation energy and electronic materials with enhanced performances and reduced loss.
Currently, the active research projects in SMRL include:
1. Protein-based hybrid materials for high efficiency energy applications
2. Design of novel nanocomposite structures for low loss energy applications
3. New polymer electrolytes for lithium batteries
4. Dielectric relaxation of multiphase polymeric structures
Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering Laboratory (SESEL) pursuits the research interests on fundamental understandings of the principal atomic-scale energy carriers (fluid particles, electrons, photons, and phonons) aiming at developing novel energy transport, conversion, and storage systems for a clean and sustainable energy future. The development of the sustainable energy systems is the one of the greatest challenges, and solutions to this require innovative approaches. SESL approaches are designing micro/nanostructured systems for the efficient energy conversion/transport/storage systems using the fundamentals of thermal-fluid sciences and electrochemistry, and emerging computational methodology and micro/nanotechnologies for desired functionalities. The research projects are related to the fundamental challenges with a wide range of emerging thermal, energy, and environmental systems. These include advanced thermal management, waste heat recovery, fuel cells, advanced rechargeable batteries, CO2 sequestration, and bio-medical systems. The long term goal is to elucidate the fundamental behaviors of principal energy carriers for innovative sustainable energy and environmental systems.
Micro scale and nano scale research with application to military avionics, aircraft environmental control systems, power storage devices, and bio-thermal systems, among other things. Possible funding agencies are NSF and DOE, Following are current/future projects:
- Application of intermetallics to aerospace structure.
- In situ characterization of materials behavior at high temperature.
- Defect characterization of semiconducting materials.
This lab will be used for basic and applied controls research. Examples include: dynamics, controls, modeling, optimization, and scalability and robustness aspects of controls implementation (embedding) in distributed (and mobile) systems. Nonlinear controls, optimal control, guidance and optimal trajectory generation, chatter-free variable structure controls, adaptive control. Application areas of interest: many, including robotic systems, ground vehicles, aircraft, rotorcraft, satellites, and biomedical.
Experimental facilities provide the capability for: a) the study of fuel clouds formed in enclosures such as commercial aviation fuel tanks, and b) the study of the flammability of materials used in aircraft passenger compartments. These facilities include:
- Optically accessible fuel tank test cell that is temperature and pressure controllable and instrument with A 2-D PDA and a sheet laser for droplet formation studies
- Vertical flammability test facility
- Constant Heat Flammability test stand