NOVA Center

NOVA Center

As the only University in the USA or North America with the availability of this technology, the NOVA Center will provide unrivaled Nanometrology, characterization, and analytical services by using the LC-SEM.

Goals & Objectives

The Center provides critical infrastructure required to
create, grow, recruit, and retain scalable science and technology companies. The Center provides a synergistic environment for WKU faculty and entrepreneurs focusing on research and development.

Capabilities & Services

The NOVA Center provides analytical services using non-destructive SEM analysis. The LC-SEM comes equipped with a suite of instrumentation that includes:

• High-resolution imaging
• Surface characterization
• Metal microstructure
• Expanded material range The Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope has great potential for observations of deformation behavior of materials, as well as for relatively small production processes in the field of micro-system techniques. The instrument also makes it possible to perform “interrupted monitoring” experiments for larger engineering parts. The parts can be in service for a specific period of time followed by an investigation of the part in the LC-SEM and returned to service immediately after the investigation is complete. Samples do not have to be coated with a metallic layer to be imaged with this electron microscope. The LC-SEM comes equipped with a suite of instrumentation that includes: – High-resolution imaging – Surface characterization – Metal microstructure – Expanded material range The Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope (LC-SEM) will accommodate a sample up to 40 inches in diameter, 40 inches tall and up to 650 pounds (large enough for an automobile engine block) eliminating the need to cut samples into small pieces for examination. Equipped with a positioning system that allows views from different angles the LC-SEM gives an extended view of an object being tested. By moving the electron gun and detectors around the object the LC-SEM is capable of generating images with a resolution of better than 10nm and a magnification up to 300,000X. The magnification capability offers high resolution imaging for surface analysis, chemical analysis, materials identification, quality control, metal microstructure, subsurface examination and more.

Funding

Currently, the funding is acquired via contracts with private companies.

PEOPLE

Leadership

Dr. Vladimir Dobrokhotov, director of the Applied Physics Institute, is also actively involved in the decision process for the NOVA Center.

Others

Currently, the NOVA Center has one staff member, Martin Cohron, who is responsible for the instrument operation and maintenance. The NOVA Center is looking for two undergraduate students majoring in STEM discipline to learn how to operate the instrument. Anticipated starting date is September, 2016.

OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED

For Students 

Students have opportunity to learn how to operate SEM and to learn specifics of usage of large chamber SEM. LC-SEM can be used in various scientific projects in, for example, non-destructive testing, in-situ analysis, failure analysis. Students are encouraged to become involved in all of these projects.

For Faculty

LC-SEM is available for any WKU faculty members. The NOVA Center provides instrument and operator who will perform scans.

For the Community

Previously, Nova Center was hosting open “Public Night” event. During that even, we had an turnout with approximately 25 people. Dr. Kintzel presented a PowerPoint demonstrating the unique capabilities of the instrument as well as previous images collected using our large chamber scanning electron microscope (LC-SEM). Attendees had the opportunity to peer into the large chamber through small windows and view the SEM in action! Previous samples such as coins, meteorites, fossils, brake rotors, a second generation ZR1 prototype engine block from Corvette, a bullet proof vest plate, and a Fresnel lens were all on display.

Number of graduate and undergraduate students perform experiments using LC-SEM instrument. Obtained data were used in preparation of Master thesis and undergraduate honor’s thesis.

Know of a way this research center is making a difference? Let us know on the Submit Info tab.

1. Egbujor, Grace, “Surface Microstructure Evolution of Metallic Specimens Using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope” (2015). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1473. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/theses/1473
2. Palme, Jahi, “Investigation of the Addition of Basalt Fibres into Cement” (2014). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1361.
3. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/theses/1361
4. Roe, Clarissa. Master Theses (in preparation)
5. Roe, Clarissa, Brittany Broder, Ed Kintzel, Keith Andrew, Shane Palmquest, and Melinda Thomas. “Characterization of Simulated Martian Nanocomposites with Alkali Perchlorate Salts.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 60 (2015).
6. Jones, Eric Douglas. “Forensic Investigation of Stamped Markings Using a Large-Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope and Computer Analysis for Depth Determination.” (2013).
7. Palmquist, Shane M., Edward Kintzel, and Keith Andrew. “Scanning electron microscopy to examine concrete with carbon nanofibers.” Proceedings of the 5th Pan American Conference for NDT, Cancun, Mexico. 2011.
8. Kintzel, Edward. “Transdisciplinary Research Opportunities at the Western Kentucky University Nondestructive Analysis Center.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57 (2012).
9. Polk, J., Ouellette, G., Celestian, A.J., Kintzel, E., Cole, J., Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V.J. and Durkee, J., 2013, December. A Novel Multiproxy Approach to High-resolution Speleothem Paleoclimate Reconstruction in the Caribbean Region During the Late Holocene. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 1, p. 02).
10. Egbujor, Grace, and Edward Kintzel. “In-situ Investigations of the Surface Microstructure Evolution of Metallic Specimens Using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope at Western Kentucky University.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
11. Andrew, K., Palmquist, S., Kintzel Jr, E.J., Henson, M. and Andrew, K., Levy Index and Fractal Dimension Characterization of Concrete Disk Surfaces Imaged in a Large Chamber SEM. 2012
12. Cruz, Linda, Shane Palmquist, Jahi Palmer, Keith Andrew, and Edward Kintzel. “Examination of Concrete with Carbon Nanotubes Using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57 (2012).
13. Andrew, Kristopher, Keith Andrew, Karla Andrew, and Edward Kintzel. “External Morphology of Circumocular Structure on a Cambrian Trilobite Fossil with SEM Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy Compared to Proetidia Members.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
14. Scott, Julie, Darlene Applegate, and Edward Kintzel. “A Study of Cultural Modifications and Taphonomic Alterations on Prehistoric Human Skeletal Remains from Crystal Onyx Cave (15Bn20), Barren County, Kentucky Using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
15. Andrew, Keith, Shane Palmquest, Edward Kintzel, Aaron Celestian, Gregory Arbuckle, and Jahi Palmer. “Analysis of Fiber Structure in a Concrete Matrix from EBS Coupled to Raman Spectra.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
16. Palmer, Jahi, Shane Palmquist, Linda Cruz, Keith Andrew, and Edward Kintzel. “Investigation of nanofibers in the interfacial transition zone of concrete.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57 (2012).
17. Finley, Jesse, Edward Kintzel, and Detlef-M. Smilgies. “Controlled Growth of Ultrathin Copper Phthalocyanine Films Adsorbed onto Glass Substrates.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
18. Annam, Ramyasree. “Study of Mechanical Properties of PVA Fiber-Reinforced Concrete with Raman Spectroscopic Analysis.” (2015).
19. Smith, Veronica, and Edward Kintzel. “Are Those Diamonds In My White Wine?.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
20. Medero, Kristina, and Edward Kintzel. “Investigation of Asymmetric Impacts on Protective Head Gear using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
21. Palmer, Jahi, Edward Kintzel, and Keith Andrew. “Investigation of Basalt Fibres in Concrete.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
22. Rondinone, Adam, Edward Kintzel, Allison Linn, and Brad Matola. “High resolution ion milling of single layer graphene for electronic devices.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
23. Leszczewicz, Jason, Edward Kintzel, Robin Woracek, Dayakar Penumadu, and Stephen Young. “Development of an In-Situ Load Frame in a Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57 (2012).
24. Linn, Allison, Adam Rondinone, and Edward Kintzel. “Geometric patterning with HIM at CNMS.” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013).
25. Wink, Tara, Edward Kintzel, Peter Marienhoff, and Martin Klein. “Solar cell evaluation using electron beam induced current with the large chamber scanning electron microscope.” In APS March Meeting Abstracts, vol. 1, p. 1129. 2012.
26. Scott, Julie, Edward Kintzel, Louis Strolger, and Schuyler Wolff. “Nondestructive Analysis of Telescope Surfaces and Coatings.” In APS Southeastern Section Meeting Abstracts, vol. 1. 2010.
27. Medero, Kristina. “Investigation of Asymmetric Impacts on Protective Headgear.” WKU Honors Thesis (2015).

For more information about the NOVA Center, visit https://www.wku.edu/novacenter/

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