The Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute [AMERI] provides an open access equipment infrastructure to support materials research and engineering over a broad range of technology and capabilities. The Institute provides analytical instrumentation, materials characterization, and process development laboratories to support faculty and industry in the development and characterization of new materials over the continuum from the nanoscale to bulk materials.
Materials Sciences and Engineering is a dynamic field involved in the synthesis, structure, properties and performance of materials. Advanced materials are the foundation of manufactured products and many of the technological advances of this century were enabled by the development of new materials. Materials Science and Engineering is a graduate program only, with undergraduate electives offered in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum to prepare the student for graduate education in materials science and engineering. The academic program offers specialization in metallurgy, ceramics, electronic materials and polymers and BioMaterials. There is an increasing demand for graduates of materials science and engineering, with high technology industries leading the need for graduates. In fact, many companies needing materials scientists and engineers did not exist 20 years ago. Because everything is made of materials and new materials, such as NanoMaterials, are rapidly being developed, materials science and engineering is a growth field in engineering.
The Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory contains a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), a 200 kev Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), X-ray diffraction, thermal (DSC, TGA, DMA, dilatometer flush diffusion, and mechanical testing (uniaxial/biaxial Instron, creep). Process Development laboratories for ceramic processing (sol-gel, tape casting, milling), polymer processing, metal processing, and arc melting, thermal processing (air, vacuum, hydrogen, controlled atmosphere furnaces) are available to support faculty and student researchers.
The Institute contains the Motorola Nanofabrication Research Facilities, which is supported by a class 100 clean room and nanofabrication capabilities including e-beam lithography and optical photolithography. Fabrication of nano/micro electromechanical systems (N/MEMS) can be accomplished by a combination of nanolithography, reactive ion etching, and thin film deposition by a variety of techniques (e-beam, sputtering, filament evaporation, cvd).
In addition to supporting research within the graduate program in materials science within the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, the Institute supports faculty across all departments (physics, chemistry, geology, biology, electrical & computer engineering, and biomedical engineering) in materials based research.