New Image Contest Is Live!

The Materials Characterization Facility hosts a running image contest that resets bimonthly. The current image contests will run through March 31, 2024.  In addition to displaying some of the imaging and analysis capabilities of our labs, it gives our users a chance to display their creative side. Check back here the first week of each month for updates on submission and in June we will announce our annual winners.

Ag (111) surface

To submit your images, please go here!

More information on the contest, rules, and how to make submissions can be found below

Image Contest Rules:

Example of Previous Submissions and Winners.

MCF Image Contest

ZrTe5 w/ missing Te dimer at center

The MCF hosts a running image contest that resets bimonthly. The current image contests will run through November 30, 2023.  In addition to displaying some of the imaging and analysis capabilities of our labs, it gives our users a chance to display their creative side. Check back here the first week of each month for updates onsubmission and twice a year – around mid-January and mid-June – to see the semiannual grand prize winners.

To submit an image, you can do so here.

If you are an MCF user, then check out the contest rules here and please consider submitting.

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Symposium on January 5th and 6th, 2023

The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) is pleased to announce that in January, in collaboration with Rigaku, we will be hosting a workshop on X-ray Diffraction. January 5th will feature seminars from researchers and faculty at Georgia Tech and across the southeast including but not limited to Clemson, Emory, Florida State University, and JSNN. January 6th will feature hands on training and application of techniques and showing off the capabilities of the tools and the software.

Registration information will be posted on the MCF ( website as well on the Rigaku website.

We look forward to seeing you at our workshop in the New Year!

Bruker XRF Webinar December 6th

Bruker Tornado doors open

Bruker will be hosting a webinar on quantitative XRF this coming Tuesday. The MCF will be playing the webinar in the lobby of Characterization Facility in Marcus.

In this webinar, Bruker will present potentials for quantification from simple to complex specimens, from infinitely thick to thin, from ideal to non-ideal samples. The possibilities to optimize the analytical output will be elaborated on using example cases. A discussion on detection limits and develop potential improvements and parameter optimization will also be had.

If you would like to register to watch it at your own concenience, you can sign up for it here.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) at the MCF

Elemental map of a chip

The MCF is pleased to announce the installation of its latest X-Ray tool, the Bruker Tornado XRay Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer. Featuring two sources, two detectors, and an automatic stage with micron-level positioning accuracy; the XRF is capable of measuring elements from C to U with a spot size down to 20um for high resolution elemental mapping of materials and devices.

In addition, advanced software packages: XMethod – for layer thickness calculation and AMICS – for automated mineral determination are available to users for sample analysis. 

More information about the instrument and its capabilities will be updated on its webpage.

The tool is currently available for use and is available for requests for training on SUMS.

If you have questions about its capabilities please contact David Tavakoli:

New Rigaku Miniflex in the MCF

Demonstrations this Friday, August 12, 3:00-6:00PM

Interior View of Miniflex

The benchtop XRD from Rigaku is now available for use in the MCF and is on SUMS! More information about the instrument can be found here! This Friday, August 12, from 3:00-6:00, David Tavakoli will be demonstrating the capabilities of the newest XRD on campus. If you have samples you would like to try or are curious and want to know more, please make an appointment.

As part of it’s ongoing expansion of materials analysis capabilities, the IEN / IMat Materials Charcterization Facility is finalizing plans to house a new ICP-MS instrument.

The planned vendor of this instrument, Thermo Fisher Scientific, is giving a talk on its capabilities and applications Thursday, October 28th at 1:00 in conference room 1116 in the Marcus Nanotechnology building.

Any user generally interested in this technique and/or specifically in need of mass-spectroscopy chemical analysis is encouraged to attend.

See the attached flyer for details, please forward to any interested colleagues, and let the MCF staff know if you have any questions.


Walter Henderson

Thermo ICPMS

MCF Re-Opening! – June 18th

Dear User,

Thank you for your past support of the MCF. Research efforts at Georgia Tech are scheduled to resume in phases beginning on June 18th, and our core facilities are ready to return to operation after significant adaptations to the new norms for hygiene and social distancing.

To comply with the Georgia Tech COVID-19 task force recommendations, we have made changes to our previous operating procedures. They are briefly outlined below and detailed in the attached document.

Social distancing: Lab occupancy, ingress/egress, and tool utilization will be managed by staff, software (SUMS), and physical layout to achieve social distancing by reducing user density.
o   Until further notice, all tool usage should be by individuals – no pairs or larger groups.
o   In lab facilities, rooms are single-occupancy unless otherwise noted.
o   Unfortunately, there will be no in person training for new users until further notice.  The staff is working to create video and remote options for training.

Limited access: Until further notice – but for Phase 1 of the ramp-up at a minimum – the labs will not be open 24/7.
o   MCF open times are M-F 8:00 am – 10:00 pm and Sat/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. See attachment for detailed schedules.
o   SUMS will automatically limit access – scheduled and operational – to some tools in order to maintain proper user density.

PPE wear: There are new MCF requirements for PPE in the IEN and IMat facilities.
o   Gloves and a surgical – not cloth – mask are required in lab spaces.
o   There will be increased access to cleaning and hand hygiene supplies.

We are all making our way through this uncharted territory – together.

The staff of the MCF are taking on new cleaning and monitoring duties while also working extended hours and on weekends. At the same time, we understand that returning researchers have lost 3 months of productivity and are under great pressure to make up for lost time.
We have worked hard to create – and have long enjoyed – a positive working relationship between and among the staff and the researchers in our facility. More than ever we will be depending on this culture of mutual understanding and respect to make this re-opening go smoothly.

If you have any questions, concerns, or problems then please reach out to a staff member or the facility manager.

The IEN and IMat Leadership

MCF New Procedures-Draft3 – final

Shared User Facilities Will be closed at 5:00PM, Thursday, March 19th, 2020

All Georgia Tech shared-user facilities will be ramping down research activities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 threat.

To comply with the directive from our administration, the MCF will close at 5:00PM this Thursday. All characterization work needs to be complete by 3:00 pm on Thursday without exception.

Equally importantly, please make sure to recover any data that you need to work remotely before that time.

There is no announced date about when the MCF will reopen, so please check Georgia Tech news regularly.

Further details and updates about the impact on research can be found here, and we will be sending SUMS/email announcements as updates occur.

Updates on the Georgia Tech community and the Covid-19 virus can be found here along with a FAQ.