News and Events


CharFac Summer Seminars and User Forums

CharFac will be hosting a series of seminars to foster interaction between internal UMN users and CharFac staff scientists. This is a series of twelve seminars that we will offer as open forums, and will feature the latest results/updates of instrumentation, broad open discussions, and brainstorming between staff and user/faculty attendees . More details in the events section below. 

Explore Nano program at CharFac

Your equipment training and initial usage on us

CharFac is inviting proposals for Explore Nano, a one-time program to allow potential users from outside the University of Minnesota to be trained on the specific equipment and make the first few uses of that equipment, free of charge. The amount of funds available are limited, so interested parties should plan to apply early. The program covers select SEM, TEM, AFM, XPS, XRD, FTIR and Raman instruments.

More details about the program are available here.

Apply here: 

Quarterly Newsletters

Nanotechnology News is a newsletter that covers the Characterization Facility (CharFac) and the Minnesota Nano Center (MNC) at the University of Minnesota. Publication of the newsletter is supported jointly through the Minnesota Nano Center (MNC) and the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) network. The latest issue can be found here.  

Upcoming Events

Atomic force microscopy beyond topography imaging: mechano-spectroscopy and matter-bio-informatics

Featuring Dr. Igor Sokolov from Tufts University. This will be held on June 14th from 10-11am in PAN 130. There will be time afterward for discussion tailored to people's research problems. More details can be found here.  

SPMConnect at TechConnect 2023

SPMConnect is launching at TechConnect 2023 as an annual AFM-based conference to foster and support the AFM community in terms of idea exchange, best practices development, mentoring, and career development. In addition to research talks, in line with the industrial/innovation theme of the broader TCW meeting, SPMConnect will feature panel discussions and plenty of opportunities for AFM researchers and scientists to meet, network and exchange ideas.

This conference aims to bring together users from a wide variety of disciplines including polymer science, biology, energy, computing, materials science, and more who share an interest in SPM as an instrument to explore nanoscale phenomena and characterization. SPMConnect aims to include scientists and researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds including industry, instrumentation vendors, academia, and national labs. Further information can be found here

CharFac Seminars and User Forums

Starting this summer, CharFac will be holding a series of seminars to foster interaction between internal users and CharFac staff scientists. This is a series of twelve seminars that we will offer as open forums, and will feature the latest results/updates of instrumentation, broad open discussions, and brainstorming between staff and user/faculty attendees .

The one-hour long discussions/presentations will be held every Thursday at 11am in room 212 of the Civil Engineering building, with an additional Wednesday session on August 16th. The first seminar will be held on June 22nd, and they will continue through the end of the summer.

The full schedule can be found here

Past Events

2023 IPRIME Annual Meeting

Save the Date! The 2023 IPRIME Annual Meeting will be held May 30-June 1, 2023. Registration opens April 17th. 

Visit the IPRIME website for more information as the details and agenda are finalized.

IPRIME Mid-Year Workshop

IPRIME (Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial & Materials Engineering) is pleased to announce a one-day, in-person workshop on the analytical capabilities in the Characterization Facility (CharFac) that are available to industry.

This workshop is intended to broadly communicate, and describe in some selective detail, the analytical capabilities in the Characterization Facility (CharFac) that are available to industry.

The full-day workshop will include four sessions covering two main topics. The first topic, spanning three of the four sessions, will describe the analytical capabilities of the facility by highlighting instrumentation, applications and staff expertise. The second topic will exemplify collaborations with the staff on open research via the IPRIME fellows program and similar routes, plus some new developments. As such this last session will highlight collaborative projects that emphasize analytical methods, including goals of (i) developing analytical expertise, (ii) exploring methodologies (e.g., parameter space, complementary techniques), and (iii) generating new insights on specific materials and device constructs (i.e., technological problems).

Visit the IPRIME website for more information as the time and agenda are finalized.


The University of Minnesota Core Facilities Open House

The open house offers visitors the chance to tour several of the University’s best research assets, including the Characterization Facility, the University Imaging Center, the Minnesota Nano Center, and the LeClaire-Dow Instrumentation Facility. Staff from these University core labs will be on hand to discuss ways that we can support your R&D needs.

The open house runs from 9 AM to 2 PM on August 9. Please meet us in the Physics and Nanotechnology (PAN) building (115 Union St SE), where snacks/ refreshments and campus maps will be available. Each participating lab will have a table in the PAN atrium, with literature/information, a sign-up list for prescheduled lab tours, and a staff member present to answer questions. Registration is optional but appreciated. Please use this form to register: Registration Form 

CharFac Open House (virtual)

Please join us for the Open House (virtual) on July 22, 2021 @ 10 am CT. We will have a general session for introduction to techniques and instruments at CharFac (~1.5 h), followed by breakout rooms with our scientists for demonstrations and discussions (~ 0.5 h). Please make sure to register so you receive the Zoom link with details.


CharFac at DMD Conference 2021

Visit CharFac exhibit at 20th Annual DMD conference 2021. The exhibit is virtual and visit DMD website for registration details.  

IPRIME Workshop

The workshop is free and open to IPRIME member companies, invited guests, and University of Minnesota faculty, students, and staff. Registration is required. Visit IPRIME website for more details.

IPRIME: NMP Technical Advisory Committee Virtual Meeting

CharFac principal investigator Greg Haugstad provided a brief overview of CharFac's industry-collaborative research on analytical methods applied to nanostructured surfaces and interfaces.

IPRIME: NMP Research Program Virtual Review

CharFac researchers Bing Luo and Greg Haugstad presented research performed in collaboration with member companies Donaldson and Ecolab.

CharFac Virtual Introduction/Tour

CharFac technical director Greg Haugstad presented its capabilities to a large number of remote attendees within DSM.

Make the Best of a Bad Situation: A Characterization Seminar Series

In partnership with experts at Penn State, Illinois and Wisconsin, CharFac recently delivered webinars viewed by hundreds of academic and industrial registrants across the US.

Both broad introductions and specialized methods were included, and subject matter ranging from theoretical foundations to practical tips. Techniques included photoelectron, Auger and chemical spectroscopies; nanoindentation and atomic force microscopy; wide- and small-angle X-ray scattering; transmission and scanning electron microscopy; focused ion beam and ion scattering; and more.

CharFac scientists spoke on confocal Raman microscopy, Rutherford backscattering & related methods; multifrequency AFM / AFM-IR; electron backscatter / transmission Kikuchi diffraction; cryo-electron microscopy / 3D reconstruction.

These and other recorded webinars can be viewed on the Penn State Materials Characterization Lab website.