The central campus Electron Microscopy Center, located in the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC), houses a suite of instruments for state-of-the-art materials characterization. A variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (SEM) is outfitted with a light-element energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) and a back- scattered diffraction camera for orientation-imaging microscopy (OIM). A field-emission SEM is available for ultra-high resolution and low-voltage imaging. The facility offers two transmission electron microscopes, one with a LaB6 gun and the other with a field-emission gun; both TEMs are outfitted with light-element EDS detectors and the field-emission TEM has an electron energy-loss spectrometer and imaging filter. A scanning probe microscope, which can be outfitted with heating, cooling or liquid cell stages, is also available. Instrument users are trained and assisted by facility staff.
CeNSE(Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering), formerly known as CMMED (Center for Micro-Magnetic and Electronic Devices) is a shared-use facility to encourage the development of device research at the nano-scale. Nearly $2 million has been invested in the basic fabrication techniques of film deposition, lithographic pattern definition and material etching that enables cutting-edge research in a variety of fields. For example, in addition to more conventional silicon-based transistor devices, simple metal/insulator circuit patterns that incorporate the self-assembly chemistry of tailored receptors could be used for biological sensors. Thus, highly multi-disciplinary research efforts are strongly encouraged. This facility is a resource for Kentucky’s development of both innovative academic research and the realization of emerging commercial ideas.
The facility currently comprises six instruments, with one more being installed right now. In addition, there are several data stations for offline processing of NMR data. Day-to-day operations of the NMR facility are overseen by full-time spectroscopist, John Layton, firstname.lastname@example.org, (859) 257-1183. John can usually be found in the NMR lab or in his office in room 7 of the Chemistry-Physics Building. John maintains the instruments and provides individual instruction so students who are beginning their research can learn to operate all of the NMR spectrometers in a matter of weeks.
The Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Kentucky was started as a Center of Excellence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1987. In the three decades since, there has been a revolution in the penetration of computation into every level of academic, industrial and governmental life. The Center has been at the forefront of this revolution, now labeled as cyberinfrastructure.
ASTeCC is UK’s incubator for multidisciplinary collaborations and start-up ventures. This $17 million, 80,000-square-foot facility, completed in 1994 with funding from the Economic Development Administration and the Small Business Administration, provides research space and state-of-the-art equipment to both faculty groups and new businesses. More than 25 faculty working on five focal areas—biopolymers, computational sciences, materials sciences, molecular biology and pharmaceutical engineering—have their labs in the ASTeCC building. In addition to fostering multidisciplinary research of intellectual and commercial value, ASTeCC provides rental space to new business startups that have developesd licensed technology at UK. Nine new businesses currently lease space in ASTeCC; 14 businesses have “graduated” from ASTeCC to UK’s Coldstream Research Campus and other locations in and around Lexington and beyond.
Center of Membrane Sciences
The goal of the Center of Membrane Sciences is to foster multidisciplinary research on synthetic and bio-inspired membranes and materials and to further enhance collaborative and cross-cutting research funding and education in new frontiers of membranes. Some of the specific aspects include: (1) Administrative structure to promote interdisciplinary membrane research interaction and enhance funding; (2) Access to various equipment and material characterization facilities; (3) Recruitment and production of high-quality Ph.D. students and (4) Enhanced visibility of UK membrane science/engineering activities to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and internationally.
CAER is an energy technology research facility whose broad mission is to conduct basic and applied research designed to generate information on Kentucky energy resources; ascertain the associated environmental impacts; and produce, test and evaluate new technologies. Current activities include coal cleaning, catalysis, emissions control, separation technologies, coal combustion byproducts research and activated carbon research. CAER’s industrial support group works with industry to solve industrial problems through utilization of the center’s analytical services expertise and facilities. Each year, the Center for Applied Energy Research sponsors seminars by distinguished experts on current scientific topics of interest to the academic and research communities.
The Center for Aluminum Technology is a partnership involving the aluminum industries, the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, the U.S. Department of Energy and UK. The mission of the center is to provide industry with trained personnel, new knowledge and the emerging technological know-how needed to be globally competitive in the 21st century. The multidisciplinary research center trains undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students to provide leadership in aluminum technology, develops programs in aluminum technology for non-degree students in conjunction with community colleges and technical schools and provides research on the fabrication and use of aluminum. The center enlists the skills of researchers from a variety of disciplines, including materials engineering, chemical engineering, mathematics, chemistry, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.