Rice University logo
CHBE logo
 
 
 
Top blue bar image
 

Contact Information

Matteo Pasquali, PhD
CHBE - MS 369
Rice University
P O Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Hazel Cole, CPS, Program Coordinator
hcole@rice.edu


 

Facilities

Microscopes

  • Nikon Eclipse E600

    Nikon Eclipse E600 is a high-end upright research-grade microscope for brightfield, polarization and epi-fluorescence imaging. The microscope is equipped with a mercury lamp, filter cubes (XF 100-2 and XF 37 from Omega Filters), 10x, 20x, 60x (oil) and 100x (oil) objectives and a Prior Proscan motorized stage.

    Contact person: Shannon Eichmnn (se5@rice.edu) 

  • Zeiss

    The Zeiss Axioplan 2 is a high-end upright research-grade microscope for transmitted and reflected (brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence) applications. It has a high resolution digital camera and a medium resolution color camera, a rotational stage with controlled capabilities to provide Z-stack analysis, and image processing software. It has a polarizer for both the transmitted and reflected light sources with a rotatable analyzer. It is capable of differential interference contrast (DIC) imaging. It is equipped with 4 objectives: 10X, 20X, 50X, and an oil immersion (1.4 NA) 63X, with capabilities of up to 2.5x false magnification.

Cameras

  • Hamamatsu

    Hamamatsu EB-CCD camera (type C7190-21) is a high-end video-rate camera for high gain, high resolution image acquisition in very low light. The camera is connected to a camera controller with sensitivity control and contrast enhancement capabilities and is controlled by Metamorph imaging software.

    Contact person: Shannon Eichmann (se5@rice.edu) 

  • Kodak Ektapro model 1000HRC Motion Analyzer

    This is a high speed camera that can be used either with an attached lens or by being mounted on a microscope. The camera can capture videos with frame exposure times as short as 50 microseconds, allowing observation of processes on very short time scales

    Contact person: Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu)

Rheometers

  • AR2000 

    ar2000.jpg 

    AR2000 Rheometer

    This rheometer was manufactured by TA Instruments. It is a stress-controlled rheometer, and it has a transducer with a minimum torque of 1×10-7 N·m. The drag cup motor and air bearing transducer are coupled to the same fixture; the rheometer has a Peltier temperature control system. We house this rheometer in a custom-made dry glovebox in order to make measurements on SWNT/superacid mixtures.

    Contact person: Colin Young (ccy1@rice.edu)

  • ARES (Advanced Rheometric Expansion System)

    This rheometer was manufactured by Rheometric Scientific Inc., which is currently owned by TA Instruments. A direct-drive motor places a strain on the sample and an air bearing precision transducer then measures the stress. The rheometer has two transducers with a minimum torque of 2×10-7 N·m. It is a strain-controlled rheometer. It is equipped with a Neslab RTE-130 temperature control system. We have a special acid shield and fume system to create a dry, isolated environment for the rheometer to make measurements on SWNT/superacid mixtures.

    Contact person: Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu)

  • RFX

     
  • RDA III 

     

rda.jpg

  • RDA Rheometer 

     

The RDA III (Rheometric Dynamic Analyzer) is a controlled strain rheometer dedicated to high viscosity fluids and solids testing in stead rotational and dynamic shear. With it’s durable ball bearing torque transducer, the product allows analysis of materials such as polymers, baby foods, inks, pharmaceutical gels, liquid crystals, crude oils, and more solid-like materials. With a controlled temperature range of 25-250 C, it is ideal for analyzing polymer melts and thermotropic liquid crystalline phase transitions. Parallel plates (25 mm and 40 mm) and Cone and Plate (25 mm and 40 mm) fixtures are available.

Contact person: Colin Young (ccy1@rice.edu) 

 Fluid processing equipment

mini_mixer.jpg

  • Mini Mixer

    In addition to the fiber spinning equipment, we have several other pieces of equipment for the handling of SWNT/superacid mixtures. We have several mixers that are used to disperse high-concentration SWNT dopes for use in fiber spinning, rheology studies, and phase behavior studies. One is the Daca Double Helix Mixer (Daca Instruments, Goleta, CA) which uses high shear forces to mix the components. The Daca mixer consists of two intertwined helix screws; the inner screw is stationary and the outer one rotates. Another is the “mini mixer”, a custom design paddle mixer developed for producing small volumes for rheology and phase behavior studies. Small Teflon paddles are angled to move the dispersion vertically as well as radially, with high shearing forces mixing the components. Finally, a static mixer is used for fiber spinning CNT/superacid dopes; this mixer uses the alternating motion of two pistons to force the fluid back and forth through a tortuous channel. Moreover, the fiber is extruded from the same unit for fiber spinning. The mixer is designed to handle high temperatures (up to 150°C) and pressures (2000 psi) and to minimize moisture ingress into the dope. Finally, much of our work with SWNT/superacid solutions utilizes a benchtop glovebox.

  • In addition to the fiber spinning equipment, we have several other pieces of equipment for the handling of SWNT/superacid mixtures. We have several mixers that are used to disperse high-concentration SWNT dopes for use in fiber spinning, rheology studies, and phase behavior studies. One is the (Daca Instruments, Goleta, CA) which uses high shear forces to mix the components. The Daca mixer consists of two intertwined helix screws; the inner screw is stationary and the outer one rotates. Another is the “”, a custom design paddle mixer developed for producing small volumes for rheology and phase behavior studies. Small Teflon paddles are angled to move the dispersion vertically as well as radially, with high shearing forces mixing the components. Finally, a is used for fiber spinning CNT/superacid dopes; this mixer uses the alternating motion of two pistons to force the fluid back and forth through a tortuous channel. Moreover, the fiber is extruded from the same unit for fiber spinning. The mixer is designed to handle high temperatures (up to 150°C) and pressures (2000 psi) and to minimize moisture ingress into the dope. Finally, much of our work with SWNT/superacid solutions utilizes a benchtop glovebox.

Contact person: Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu)

  • Speed Mixer

     

Contact person:  Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu)

  • DAC600 

     

Contact person:  Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu)

 

Fiber spinning equipment

After mixing high-concentration CNT/superacid solutions, or “dopes,” these solutions are extruded through an air gap into a “coagulant” bath. In the air gap, the dope undergoes tension, which further aligns the liquid crystalline CNT solution. In the coagulation bath, the acid is removed, and the CNTs coagulate to form a solid, aligned, neat fiber. Our group has a unique experimental setup for carrying out this extrusion process; syringe pumps are used to extrude the dope from the mixing vessel, and we have a two-level arrangement where the dope is extruded downward from the first level through the air gap into the coagulation bath on the adjustable second level.

Contact people: Dmitri Tsentalovich (dtsentalovich@rice.edu) and Colin Young (ccy1@rice.edu)

Sonotex sprayer

The spray-coating apparatus in the Pasquali group has a ultrasonic atomizing nozzle (Model 06-5108, 120kHz operation frequency, Sono-tek Corporation, NY; http://www.sono-tek.com/) coupled to a computer controlled x-y stage for coating large planar areas. The ultra-sonic atomizer generates droplets of uniform size by electro-mechanical transduction of piezoelectric crystals, which provide a squeeze-mode action on liquids flowing through a metallic (Ti) capillary.

We study the heat and mass transfer processes involved in film formation from colloidally suspended nanomaterials. These studies will allow us to understand fundamental processes involved in this technology and develop new cost-effective techniques for making useful films from SWNTs, graphene, band-gap semi-conducting materials, and catalyst particles for a wide range of applications.

Contact person: Francesca Mirri (fm7@rice.edu)

Drawdown film coater 

rod_coater.jpg 

  

  • DrawDown Rod Coating

    The Gardco Automatic Drawdown Machine is a benchtop device for draw down sample coatings with a high degree of reproducibility. With the Gardco Automatic Drawdown Machine the operator can get consistent, precision coating drawdowns every time. It can use all different types of applicators — Microm applicators, Bird type, Wire wound rods, etc. The instrument can do coating with a speed range of 1.0 to 18.0 inches per second (IpS), in 0.1 inch/sec increments. There are four preset stroke lengths of 6, 9, 12 and 16 inches. The standard working surface is a 12 x 18 inch glass plate. An optional 12 x 18 inch vacuum plate can be used in place of the glass plate to accommodate different size paint charts. Standard 16” OA Lab rods of either 1/2 or 3/8” diameter can be used.

  • The Gardco Automatic Drawdown Machine is a benchtop device for draw down sample coatings with a high degree of reproducibility. With the Gardco Automatic Drawdown Machine the operator can get consistent, precision coating drawdowns every time. It can use all different types of applicators — Microm applicators, Bird type, Wire wound rods, etc. The instrument can do coating with a speed range of 1.0 to 18.0 inches per second (IpS), in 0.1 inch/sec increments. There are four preset stroke lengths of 6, 9, 12 and 16 inches. The standard working surface is a 12 x 18 inch glass plate. An optional 12 x 18 inch vacuum plate can be used in place of the glass plate to accommodate different size paint charts. Standard 16” OA Lab rods of either 1/2 or 3/8” diameter can be used.
 

Contact person: Francesca Mirri (fm7@rice.edu)

Freeze Drying Equipment

Freeze drying allows removal of water from a material without compromising the structure.  The material is first frozen with liquid nitrogen, then the sample vial is connected to the dryer, which reduces the surrounding pressure to allow the frozen water in the material to sublimate directly from the solid phase to the gas phase.  The Millrock benchtop freeze dryer lowers the temperature of the sample up to -45 degrees C and is equipped with a manifold to allow up to 6 samples to be dried at a time. 

Contact person:  Theresa Hsu (tth4@rice.edu

Mechanical Testing

  • Instron 1000 Tensile Tester

     

Contact person:  Colin Young (ccy1@rice.edu)

Access the Rice SEA (Shared Equipment Authority): http://sea.rice.edu/