Materials Characterisation Equipment
Interested in Materials Characterisation Equipment? Contact A/Prof. Peter Innis
The Shimadzu Compact Tabletop Testing Machine EZTest is the universal testing machine that enables evaluation of various physical properties of food, chemicals, electronics components and other industrial products and components, for the purpose of quality management and research. Various test such as simple strength, compression, bending and peeling tests simply by replacing various test jigs available in the optional lineup. Loading cells’ capabilities of 2N, 10N, 50N, 500N and their corresponded jigs are available at the moment.
Thermogravimetric analysis is used to determine the composition of substances by measuring the change of mass as a function of temperature. This is particularly useful with the complex conductive materials which are prepared for the bionics program. The TA Instruments TGA is fitted with a Hiden Gas Analyser mass spectrometer, with a range of m/z 0-300 Th and an electron impact source. It is now possible to determine the identity of gases which correspond with particular mass losses during thermolysis. At the moment it is being used to detect labelled oxygen gas which is evolved during electrolysis of water, catalysed with a biomimetic manganese complex.
Four Point Probe Resistivity Meter
Our Jandel RM3 resistivity meter is accompanied by a number of four point probes of different design and probe tip diameter. This instrument is central to the work of any researcher working with conducting polymers because it is used to measure the conductivity (performance) of these materials. It has been used to measure the conductivities of materials such as graphene and the new conducting biomaterial PEDOT:dextran-4-sulfate.
Transient absorption/charge extraction laser facility
The transient absorption / charge extraction laser facility allows the optical and electrical determination of photo-excited intermediates important for efficient conversion of photons to electrical energy (in solar cells) or fuels (in solar water splitting). The system is used for several projects to determine the mobility and recombination of these photo-excited intermediates, such as trapped and free charge carriers. One of the recent highlights include a inside cover article in Advanced Energy Materials, in which study we showed reduced recombination in a novel low band gap polymer : fullerene solar cell allowing the coating of relatively thick photoactive layers. This information is crucial for the commercial partner Konarka Technologies to develop next generation of conjugated polymer donor materials.
Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring
Recently employed to characterise the mechanical properties of conducting polymer biomaterials, as well as the nature of their interactions with proteins and cells. These measurements are vital to understanding the ability for biomaterials to interface with living cells and tissues, providing a tool with which to tailor these materials for a variety of applications, including nerve and muscle regeneration; both key projects within the bionics program.
Goniometer is more often used in IPRI to determine a static contact angle, a basic but important parameter of the surface properties. For example, hydrophobicity of the polymer films correlates with the cell adhesion, which is essential for successful cells seeding.
The Zeta sizer system measures size using dynamic light scattering, zeta potential and electrophoretic mobility using electrophoretic light scattering, and molecular weight using static light scattering. The Zetasizer Nano ZS allows for these parameters to be measured over a temperature range of 0-90 oC. An important feature of the Zetasizer Nano ZS is the detection system utilizes patented Non-Invasive Back Scatter technology (NIBS) to give the highest sensitivity simultaneously with the highest dynamic size and concentration range.