Labs and Facilities
SHARED RESEARCH LABORATORIES AND FACILITIES are an integral part of research and education at Penn Engineering. From nanotechnology to fluid mechanics to robotics to entrepreneurship, dedicated space exists for all forms of research in which our students and faculty engage. Featured labs and facilities include:
MEAM Design and Prototyping Laboratories
The objective of the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) Design and Prototyping Laboratories is to give our students access to the tools and resources they need to create and experiment with ideas and inventions so to better enhance their educational experiences. In addition to providing resources for Penn students during the school year, the student shop also helps conduct the Robotics program of the School of Engineering's Summer Academy in Applied Science and Technology (SAAST). SAAST offers a unique opportunity for a selective group of high school students to experience rigorous and challenging college-level coursework. The Design and Prototyping Laboratory also offers services to professors and students who are interested in having projects fabricated for them.
SIG Center for Computer Graphics
The SIG Center for Computer Graphics is the result of the largest corporate gift to date for the computer graphics program, from The Susquehanna International Group, LLP, better known as SIG. This gift,combined with other generous donations, has resulted in new facilities supporting the CG@Penn programs. The new center contains the H. Stone Animation Studio, the largest academic motion capture studio in the region. This center provides a state-of-the-art Vicon Motion Capture system and laboratory for projects such as 3D motion picture special effects, computer graphics and animation, simulation and modeling of large-scale human crowds, and research into the interrelationships of human movement, language and communication.
Nano Probe Innovation Facility
The Probe Innovation Facility is a unique lab that serves as an incubator for new probes of nanostructure behavior and associated instrumentation development. It is equipped with a suite of scanning probes, optoelectronic/optotransport tools, and optical probes that are so recently developed as not to be available on commercial instruments. The environment will facilitate the development and refinement of new probes. This facility is part of the Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC), a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) bringing together researchers from the Schools of Engineering and Applied Science; Arts and Sciences; and Medicine. The NBIC exploits Penn's internationally recognized strengths in design of molecular function and quantification of individual molecules. The Center unites investigators from ten departments to provide, not only new directions for the life sciences, but also for engineering in a two-way flow essential to fully realizing the benefits of nanobiotechnology.
Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility
The Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility (PRN) is a full-service center equipped with a wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation for materials analysis. Nanoscale characterization of polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, electronics, and thin films is conducted using scanning, transmission, and scanning-transmission electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and ion scattering techniques. A wide range of specimen preparation equipment is used, including cryo-ultramicrotomy, jet electrolytic polishing, mechanical dimpling, ion beam thinning, tripod polishing, vacuum evaporation, sputter-coating and replication. Both analog and digital output are produced and in-house hardware and software are available for a wide range of image and spectrum processing tasks and for the calculation/simulation of electron-beam specimen interactions and microscope performance. The PRN is setup to accommodate both academic and corporate users.
The Weiss Tech House
The Weiss Tech House is a student-run hub of technological innovation that encourages and supports students in the creation, development and commercialization of innovative technologies. Students with a broad range of technological interests and skill can explore, collaborate, and access resources like lab and meeting space, funding, educational workshops and a network of industry mentors as they learn how to turn their innovative ideas into realities. With the addition of two new reservable Innovation Stations students can now work more efficiently to achieve their goals. More than $60,000 in funds and in-kind services is awarded to students each year from our in-house, mini-venture capital Innovation Fund and PennVention student invention competition.
Wolf Nanofabrication Facility
The University of Pennsylvania Wolf Nanofabrication Facility is a user facility serving the nanofabrication needs of the Penn community as well as those of external users. The recently-renovated 3,500 square-foot facility houses a 1,950 square-foot class 1,000 (ISO 6) cleanroom equipped with a set of tools that allow our users to perform a variety of fabrication steps, including (1) film casting: spinners, hot plates, ovens, ink-jet printer; (2) lithography: e-beam writer, nanoimprinter, stepper, mask aligners; (3) vapor deposition: evaporator, sputterer, AlN reactive sputterer, PECVD, ALD, parylene coater, HMDS vapor primer; (4) dry etching: ICP etcher, RIE etcher, plasma etcher, XeF2 etcher; (5) thin film measurement: profilometer, ellipsometer, refractometer, stress measurement; (6) device packaging: wire bonder; and (7) electrical test: probe station, four-point probe station. Wet bench space is generous, with two 10 foot-long and five 5 foot-long benches, segregated by chemical type.