Integrated NanoMaterials Laboratory expands resources

Feb 03, 2022

With a new location and added instrumentation, the Integrated NanoMaterials Laboratory (INML) now offers a complete set of tools for investigators at UCLA and beyond who study and develop state-of-the-art nanomaterials or nanostructures.


The INML is a Technology Center of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA that addresses the critical technological needs of the future through material development. Nanomaterials and nanostructures grown in the facility are used in lasers, solar cells, detectors, transistors, modulators and a wide range of other electronic and photonic devices.


Offering open access to optical and electronic measurement tools, the INML provides an end-to-end solution for the design, fabrication and characterization of advanced semiconductors and devices — encompassing both electronic and photonic technologies.


“We’ve assembled a comprehensive suite of characterization instruments,” said Baolai Liang, technical director of the INML. “This effectively makes the INML a one-stop shop for producing and characterizing III-V and III-N compound semiconductor materials.”


Taken together, the capacities of the INML’s instruments and the skill of its staff make for a rare scientific resource that basis of a large number of ongoing partnerships and collaborations.


“The INML at CNSI brings unique expertise in the high-resolution precision optical spectroscopy of quantum materials,” said Chee Wei Wong, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr., Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The combination of spectroscopic wavelengths from near-infrared to mid-infrared and beyond — in a cryogenic bath and with a broad range of pump excitations — is a unique capability that few universities have. The open inclusive environment offered by the INML is unrivaled across the top institutions in the States.”


Equipment and techniques for optical characterization include the following:


Time-resolved photoluminescence measurements, visible to up to 1,700 nanometers, at cryogenic temperatures can be achieved with the PicoHarp-300 time-correlated-single photon-counting module, paired with an Advanced Research Systems closed-cycle cryostat and a NKT EXW-12 super-continuum laser, which provides selective wavelength excitation with a range from 470 to 2,000 nanometers.

A microphotoluminescence setup can take measurements for single nanostructures between 750 and 1,700 nanometers with a Princeton spectral 2D infrared charge-coupled camera. This setup includes Mitutoyo Plan Apo near-infrared corrected objective lenses with 50× and 100× power — enabling resolution under 1 micrometer — as well as multi-excitation from a 200-milliwatt, 532-nanometer continuous wave laser or a NKT super-continuum laser.

Broadband photoluminescence measurements for quick wafer emission characterization at room or cryogenic temperatures can be carried out using an Acton SP2300 spectrometer, a Stanford Research 830 lock-in amplifier and a femtowatt detector.

The Thermo Scientific Nicolet 8700 Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer and continuum infrared microscope offers multifunctional analysis — integrating photoluminescence, transmittance and absorption in the near-, mid-, and long-wavelength infrared ranges at cryogenic or room temperatures.

For electronic characterization, current-voltage and capacitance-voltage measurements are available to INML users via the following instruments:


Keysight/Agilent 4156C precision semiconductor parameter analyzer

Keysight/Agilent E4980A precision LCR meter, with frequency range from 20 hertz to 2 megahertz

Lakeshore TTPX cryogenic probe station, with laser coupling for photoresponse measurement

High-frequency probe station, capable of testing in frequencies less than 50 gigahertz, with laser coupling for photoresponse measurement

Tools for structural characterization include the Nomarski phase contrast microscope with high-resolution digital camera, control software and objective lenses with up to 100× magnification.


Those interested in project consultation, proof-of-concept, training or other assistance should contact Liang at bliang@cnsi.ucla.edu.

With a new location and added instrumentation, the Integrated NanoMaterials Laboratory (INML) now offers a complete set of tools for investigators at UCLA and beyond who study and develop state-of-the-art nanomaterials or nanostructures.