Research Facilities

Departmental & Shared Facilities


The Atom Probe Tomography (APT) Laboratory has capabilities for 3D chemical composition measurements at the atomic scale. It is currently involved in the following research efforts:

  • Atomic scale measurement of defect chemistry, especially grain boundary and interface analyses
  • Establishing correlation between atomic structure and properties in materials
  • Development of hardware and software for Atomic Scale Tomography, especially correlative transmission electron microscopy and APT
  • Nanoscale elemental distributions in geologic materials
  • Reproducible processing of atomically precise nanostructures and devices
  • APT analysis of small molecule electronics

The APT tool is a recent acquisition and the lab is eager to expand usage in new, exciting research directions. Contact personnel for the APTL can be found here.


Electron Microscopy Laboratory

The Electron Microscopy Laboratory is a user facility for imaging and characterization of materials. Equipment housed in the microscopy lab include:

  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
  • Field Effect Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM): The instrument has Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy capabilities and a Nabity attachment for electron-beam lithography.
  • Focused Ion Beam (FIB): with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, Pt deposition, Electron Backscatter Diffraction and an Omniprobe nanomanipulator.
  • Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM): with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, Electron Diffraction and Scanning Mode operation.
  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).
  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM).
  • Laser/Raman confocal microscopy.
Pb nanowires grown in our lab taken with the scanning electron microscope

Image of Pb nanowires grown in our lab and taken with the scanning electron microscope

Contact information for personnel who provide support for the electron microscopy labs can be found on this page.

High Performance Computing

Mines has three large scale high performance computing (HPC) facilities available for student and faculty use:

  • (Mio, a 120-plus Teraflop HPC cluster;
  • BlueM, 154 Teraflops, 17.4 Terabytes, and 10,496 CORES; and
  • Wendian, installed in Fall 2018 and containing the latest generation of Intel processors, Nvidia GPUs, and OpenPower nodes with 82 standard computing nodes plus 5 nodes with GPUs combined to over 350 Teraflops.

For complete information, see High Performance Computing.

Low-temperature Characterization Labs

Low-temperature Characterization Labs: CK018 and CK020 are dedicated to low-temperature characterization of materials and devices. Low-temperature characterization is an essential tool for fundamental Physics experiments, for exploring interesting phenomena (e.g. superconductivity), and for applications such as quantum computing.

The low-temperature labs are equipped with

  • Oxford Triton Dilution Refrigerator for transport measurements (base temperature 8 mK, magnetic fields up to 8T, DC and microwave measurement capabilities, optical access)
  • Quantum Design Magnetic Property Measurement System (MPMS3) with a He3 insert for magnetic property measurements (base temperature 400 mK, magnetic fields up to 7T)

Dilution Refrigerator

Dilution Refrigerator

Contact personnel for these labs are Meenakshi Singh ( or Serena Eley (



A widely used facility for both teaching and research is the Physics Department’s Machine Shop. The machine shop has includes a variety of state-of-the-art CNC machines available to both students and faculty upon completion of training.


The Photovoltaics Laboratory at Mines has contributed to thin film CdTe photovoltaic technology development for over 15 years. This work has helped CdTe to become the lowest cost technology for making photovoltaic power plants. The CdTe Photovoltaics Lab has the following capabilities:

  • Sputtering of Cd2SnO4 and transparent conducting oxide
  • Evaporation of CdS, ZnTe, Ni and Au
  • Vapor transport deposition of CdTe
  • Tube furnaces for annealing

This lab reliably produces CdTe solar cells with efficiency over 10%, and their best cells have reached efficiencies in the low-to-mid teens. The contact people for the Photovoltaics Laboratory are Professors Colin Wolden and Timothy Ohno.

Physics Growth and Characterization Labs

Physics Growth and Characterization Labs: This facility is housed in the basement of the new CoorsTek building (CK040, CK040B, CK040 Cleanroom). It is equipped with

  • Class 1000 cleanroom, including
    • spinners
    • fume hoods
    • thermal evaporators
    • sputtering chambers (DC and RF)
    • tube furnace
    • Dimension 3100 Atomic Force Microscope
  • Diverse chararacterization techniques, including
    • ellipsometry
    • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
    • Raman spectroscopy
    • scanning electron microscopy
    • profilometry
    • Hall effect measurements

These labs are currently in use by researchers for a wide spectrum of research ranging from characterization of chemicals used in petroleum extraction to the fabrication of nano-scale devices for quantum transport.

To gain access to this lab, please contact Meenakshi Singh ( or K. Xerxes Steirer (

Quantum Theory Lab

Quantum Theory Lab: This beautiful facility is located in the new CoorsTek building (CK230) and is the prime location for brainstorming on quantum information and related ideas.  It provides fifty linear feet of floor to ceiling glass board for working out problems, a large quantum library and reading area, presentation space for seminars, dedicated work space for visiting researchers, and a kitchen and patio for coffee and discussions.  Students and faculty can be found debating here at all hours.  To gain access to this lab, please contact Lincoln Carr (, Eliot Kapit (, or Zhexuan Gong (


Clean room in REMRSEC labsThe Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC) maintains four laboratories.

  • The Processing Lab: is located in Hill Hall 310/312. HH312 is a class 1000 clean room and HH310 is a class 10000 cleanroom. These rooms contain equipment for micro and nanofabrication including a spinner, mask aligner, evaporator, plasma etching system, furnaces, fume hoods and a sputtering chamber. Characterization capabilities like ellipsometry, profilometry and a probe station are also present.
  • The Synthesis Lab: located in HH323, contains numerous fume hoods, two dry glove boxes and a dynamic vapor sorption measurement system.
  • The Chemical Vapor Deposition Lab: located in HH302, houses a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition cluster tool used to deposit amorphous or nanocrystalline silicon and a Si nanoparticle reactor.
  • The Characterization Lab: located in GRL231 provides optical and electronic characterization facilities including Electron Spin Resonance, Thermal Deflection Spectroscopy, photoluminescence, FTIR, and optical absorption & reflection measurements.
  • The contact information for people enabling access to REMRSEC facilities can be found here.

Mines’ Ultrafast Science Research Lab (USRL) is a new state-of-the-art facility with over 3,700 square feet of research space. The laboratory includes:

  • A broad array of laser systems ranging from high repetition rate oscillators to three kHz repetition rate ultrafast Ti:sapphire amplifiers. The high-power amplifier can produce compressed pulses 10mJ in energy and 20fs in duration.
  • Adaptive pulse shaping and a deformable mirror for beam phase control/manipulation.
  • Harmonic conversion and parametric amplification providing ultrafast light across the spectrum-from 200 nm to 10 µm.
  • A complete array of diagnostics is available:
    • Imaging spectrometers
    • Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors
    • High speed detectors
    • Spectrally resolved autocorrelators for complete pulse characterization (FROG)
    • GHz oscilloscopes
    • Waveform generators
    • Lock-in amplifiers (up to 200 MHz)
  • Three home-built multi-photon microscope systems with complete scanning and imaging capabilities.

Contact personnel for the USRL are Professors Jeff Squier and Chip Durfee.