Tech-POB Infrastructure Object


Technological Platform for the Design, Chemical Synthesis, and Physical Study of Hybrid Nanomaterials for Photonics, Optoelectronics, and Biomedicine


The Technological Platform for the Design, Chemical Synthesis, and Physical Study of Hybrid Nanomaterials for Photonics, Optoelectronics, and Biomedicine (Tech-POB) infrastructure object has been established in NRNU MEPhI, which has been rated the best Russian university in the field of engineering and technological sciences (the ARWU ranking) and ranked the 36th in the world according to the THE's Physical Sciences Top 100 ranking owing to the "excellence cluster" of the "Mega-grant" laboratories of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE) and Hybrid Phoronic Nanomaterials (LPNM).

The Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE) was founded in NRNU MEPhI in the late 2011. It is headed by Professor Igor R. Nabiev, PhD, DSc, professor of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France, and director of the European Technological Platform "Semiconductor Nanocrystals" (www.lnbe.mephi.ru). LNBE was established in the framework of the "Mega-grant" program on attracting the world's leading scientists to Russian higher education institutions. To date, LNBE has been acknowledged to be one of the most successful laboratories established in the framework of the "Mega-grant" program. During the six years passed since its foundation, the laboratory has won more than 30 international and Russian competitions of research projects, reached the level of the best international laboratories in terms of the number of publications and patents, founded an innovative company (a Skolkovo Technopark resident), and become a member of the European Technological Platform "Semiconductor Nanocrystals" and the Integrated Computational Engineering, Characterization and Validation of Semiconductor Colloidal Nanocrystals with Advanced Properties (ICENAP) internatonal collaboration.

In 2015, the EU's 7th Framework Programme project NAMDIATREAM, where Prof. Nabiev is the director of the main technological platform and LNBE is an associated member, won the European Community prize as the best among more than 1000 projects in Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials and Production that have ever been supported by EC.

The Laboratory of Hybrid Phoronic Nanomaterials (LPNM) was founded in the late 2017 under the direction of Professor Yuriy P. Rakovich, Phd, DSc, professor of the University of the Basque Country and leading researcher of the Center of the Physics of Materials, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, one of the world's leading specialists in nanophotonics and plasmonic materials. LPNM was also established in the framework of the "Mega-grant" program for attracting the world's leading scientists to Russian higher education institutions (http://www.p220.ru/home/projects/item/1215-14-y26-31-0011). The scope of research carried out by the head and staff of LPNM encompasses studies on light–matter iteraction at the nanoscale, including the effects of radiation-controlled transparence of hybrid nanostructures and strong coupling in hybrid nanostructures, as well as the effect of stroing coupling on the photoluminescence conversion in hybrid nanolabels. In addition, LPNM develops platforms of next-generation biosensor systems based on hybrid nanolabels using the effects of hybridization of photoluminescence spectra and designs prototype biosensor systems based on these effects.

LPNM's research and developments are based on combining key concepts and technologies of nano-biophotonics for the development of new approaches to sensing using nonlinear nanophotonic effects. These include exciton–plasmon interactions and up-conversion of luminescence in organic/inorganic hybrid systems.

The research groups of both "Mega-grant" laboratories possess unique experience and expertise, as well as equipment, methods, and techniques in the fields of engineering, nanotechnology, and materials science, each ideally complementing the other with world-level expertise in designing and using fluorescent semiconductor excitonic structures (LNBE) or plasmonic nanomaterials (LPNM). This makes it possible to develop unique hybrid (plasmon–exciton) structures for photonic, optoelectronic, and biomedical applications, which was the purpose of the foundation of the Tech-POB infrastructure object.

 

1. List of equipment, with the names and basic characteristics of the instruments and devices

 

The technological unit of design, chemical synthesis, and purification of semiconductor, plasmonic, and magnetic nanomaterials

 

(1) A unit of the colloidal synthesis of nanomaterials

The technological unit is used for the colloidal synthesis of a wide range of semiconductor, magnetic, and metal nanocrystals in organic and aqueous media.

Quantum dots are synthesized in the medium of an organic solvent under an inert atmosphere at a temperature of 350°C.

The unit includes:

- a set of glass reactor flasks from 25 to 250 ml in volume;

- a set of heating mantles for flasks from 25 to 250 ml in volume (for temperatures up to 450°C);

- systems for supply of an inert gas and for vacuum pumping;

- a KNF chemical vacuum pump;

- IKA and Heidolph magnetic and stirrers.

 

(2) An automated hardware and software system for growing epitaxial shells with different compositions around semiconductor nanocrystal cores

The hardware and software system developed in the LNBE of NRNU MEPhI makes it possible:

- to simulate the structure and shape of core/shell quantum dots;

- to use the simulation model for calculating the necessary amounts of reagents for the synthesis of quantum dots of a specified structure;

- to determine the parameters and set a microprogram for performing the synthesis;

- to carry out programmed synthesis of core/shell quantum dots with a specified shell structure by adding the reagents into the reaction mixture sequentially or simultaneously;

- to process the absorption and fluorescence spectra in an automated mode and estimate the homogeneity, quantum yield, and stability of the nanocrystal synthesized.

 

The hardware and software system comprises:

- software for computer simulation and preparation of the synthesis program, including the Nanocrystal Builder, Nanocrystal Editor, GCoder, Synthesis Commander, and SpectraProcessor software;

- a dual-mode automated thermocontroller providing for maintaining either constant power or constant temperature and allowing the recording of data and the control of the synthesis by means of a PC;

- a five-channel syringe pump allowing independently dosing as many as five synthesis reagents to an accuracy of 5 μl.

 

The possibilities offered by the hardware and software system:

- synthesis of quantum dots or quantum rods with the "classical" ZnS or CdS shells, multilayered shells ("multishells"), and gradient shells;

- a high reproducibility of the results, the reproducibility of the absorption and fluorescence peaks being within ± 5 nm when quantum dots of identical structure are synthesized from different lots of the quantum dot cores and shell precursors;

- scalability of the synthesis, the techniques for the synthesis of quantum dots with different structures being scalable to about 5 g of nanocrystals per synthesis.

 

(3) A system for isolation and purification of the synthesized nanomaterials by centrifugation and chromatography, including:

- a Hettich Universal 320 centrifuge (up to 100 ml)

- an Eppendorf 5418 centrifuge (up to 2 ml)

- a Heidolph Hei-Vap Value Digital rotary–vacuum evaporator

- a set of chromatographic columns for gel-penetrating chromatography

   

 

(4) A unit for fabrication, characterization, and study of thin-film materials and devices based on them to be used in photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications

 

A KW-4A spin coater

 

 

The spin coater can be used to make thin films of semiconductor nanocrystals or composite materials based on them, as well as multilayered photovoltaic or light-emitting devices on glass or plastic substrates.

 

An LCS-100 solar simulator (Oriel, АМ 1.5)

The solar simulator is intended for assessment of photovoltaic devices based on semiconductor nanocrystals.

 

A Keithley Instruments 2635A precision source measurement unit

The device supplies and measures voltage and current in the ranges of 200 mV to 200 V and from 10 nA to 10 A quickly and precisely.

It can be used for characterization of the electrophysical properties of materials or in electrochemical etching units.

 

A technological system for characterization and assessment of the synthesized semiconductor, plasmonic, and magnetic nanomaterials, as well as hybrid materials based on them

 

(1) Equipment for characterizing the optical and physical properties of nanomaterials

 

An Agilent Cary 60 spectrophotometer equipped with modules for examining film samples and stopped-flow measurement of chemical reaction kinetics.

The Agilent Cary 60 spectrophotometer can be used to measure the optical absorption and transmission of samples

- in the wavelength range from 190 to 1100 nm;

- at a scanning rate as high as 24,000 nm/min;

- in the case of rapid reactions, in the stopped-flow mode;

- in the case of solid-state samples, with the use of additional accessories.

 

An Agilent Cary Eclipse spectrofluorimeter equipped with additional modules for analyzing samples in multi-well plates, examining film samples, measuring the chemical reaction kinetics in the stopped-flow mode, and studying polarized fluorescence of samples.

 

The Agilent Cary Eclipse spectrofluorimeter can be used to measure:

- the intensities of fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemi- and bioluminescence of solid samples and solutions at wavelengths up to 900 nm;

- kinetics of rapid processes at a scanning rate of up to 24,000 nm/min and up to 80 points/s in the stationary fluorescence mode;

- samples with small concentrations and volumes smaller than 0.5 ml, as well as microplate-format samples, with the use of accessories;

- solid-state samples (fine powders, flims, etc.), with the use of an optical fiber probe.

 

Spectrometric equipment based on module spectrometers (Ocean Optics HR-2000+ES, MayaPro 2000, and Avantes AvaSpec-NIR256-1.7) that can be used for studying the absorption and fluorescence of nanomaterials in the visible and near and middle IR spectral regions and for the real-time monitoring of the nanocrystal synthesis, with the use of a submersible optical probe.

 

The equipment includes:

- an Ocean Optics HR-2000+ES spectrometer with a matrix detector for a spectral range of 190–1100 nm, signal accumulation time from 1 ms to 65 s, dynamic range of 8.5 × 107, and signal to noise ratio of 250:1;

- an Ocean Optics Maya Pro 2000 spectrometer for the near-IR range with a matrix detector for a spectral range of 600–1100 nm, signal accumulation time from 7.2 ms to 5 s, dynamic range of 15,000, and signal to noise ratio of 450:1;

- an Avantes AvaSpec-NIR256-1.7 spectrometer;

- sets of optical fibers for the visible and near/middle IR ranges;

- cuvette holders;

- color filter holders;

- integrating spheres;

- a set of light-emitting-diode excitation sources (405, 532, and 625 nm);

- a DH-2000 white light source containing a deuterium and a halogen lamps;

- a TP-300 thermostable and chemically stable submersible probe for measuring the absorption and fluorescence spectra of solutions in situ (for temperatures up to 300°C).

 

A unit for analyzing the luminescence spectra and kinetics of rapid photoprocesses in nanostructures and composite materials based on them.


 

 

The unit comprises:

- a Tsunami femtosecond solid-state laser (Newport Corporation, USA) allowing for tuning the laser radiation in the ranges from 700 to 1000 nm without doubling the frequency and from 350 to 450 nm with the use of a second harmonic generation unit. The laser pulse repetition rate is 80 MHz and can be decreased to 1 kHz, the maximum average power is as high as 2.2 W, and the characteristic pulse duration is 60 fs;

- a picosecond solid-state laser (Polyus Research Institute, Moscow, Russia) with a radiation wavelength of 532 nm, pulse repetition rate of 50 Hz, average power of 10 mW, and pulse duration of 350 ps;

- an M-266 automated monochromator/spectrograph (Solar Laser Systems, Belarus) equipped with four diffraction gratings (200, 400, 600, and 1200 grooves/mm). A silicon CCD array (Hamamatsu), an R1926A photomultiplier (Hamamatsu), and an FD-7G germanium photodiode are used as detectors;

- a DPO 3054 digital oscilloscope with a bandpass of 500 MHz and a sampling rate of 2.5 GHz.

 

The characteristics of the equipment constituting this unit can be used for the following main analyses:

- analysis of the luminescence spectra of nanostructures and composite materials based on them in the range from 260 to 1500 nm;

- analysis of the luminescence spectra of nanostructures and composite materials based on them in the two-photon excitation mode;

- analysis of the luminescence kinetics of nanostructures and composite materials based on them in the range from 260 to 850 nm with a time resolution of at least 3 ns.

 

(2) A Carl Zeiss Axio Observer inverted microscope

The microscope allows viewing samples in transmitted or reflected light. It is equipped with a set of color filters for viewing fluorescent images in various spectral regions. Microphotographs are recorded using a highly sensitive monochrome camera.

 

The device can be used for studying the morphology of nanocrystal thin films, nanocrystal aggregates, and composites based on them.

 

(3) A Malvern Zetasizer NanoZS instrument for measuring the sizes and zeta-potentials of nanoparticles by the dynamic light scattering method

 

The instrument can be used to measure the size distributions of nanoparticle ensembles in the form of a colloidal solution.

The measurements can be performed in both aqueous and organic media.

With the use of specialized cuvettes, it is also possible to measure the surface potential of nanoparticles in aqueous solutions.

Characteristics of the instrument:

- size range of particles in a colloidal solution, 1–10,000 nm;

- minimum sample size, 12 μl;

- temperature interval of measurements, 0–90°C;

- measurement angles, 13° and 173°.

 

(4) A femtosecond laser quadrupole mass spectrometer, a unique research installation

The femtosecond laser quadrupole mass spectrometer, in contrast to its analogues, has an unprecedentedly high spatial resolution.

The installation can be used for analysis at a resolution of about 100 nm in the mode of laser desorption followed by multistep, multiphoton ionization, as well as in the surface laser ionization mode.

The installation comprises a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a laser system with an adjustable radiation wavelength, and a set of support equipment for diagnosing the characteristics of laser radiation and the mass spectrometer (wavelength, pulse duration, pulse energy, etc.).

Apart from measurements in the laser desorption mode, the installation can also be used to study samples of materials by means of temperature-programmed desorption with mass-spectrometric detection of the desorbed substances.

 

 

2. List of measurement methods used at the infrastructure object

 

(1) Measurement of the absorption spectra of solutions in the range from 250 to 1500 nm.

(2) Measurement of the absorption spectra of thin films in the range from 250 to 1500 nm.

(3) Measurement of the absorption/reflection spectra of solid-state samples in the range from 250 to 1500 nm.

(4) Measurement of the fluorescence spectra of solutions in the range from 250 to 1500 nm.

(5) Measurement of the fluorescence spectra of solid-state samples and thin films in the range from 250 to 1500 nm.

(6) Measurement of the fluorescence quantum yield of solutions, thin films, and bulk materials.

(7) In situ measurement of the absorption spectra of solutions (at temperatures up to 300°C).

(8) In situ measurement of the fluorescence spectra of solutions (at temperatures up to 300°C).

(9) Measurement of the fluorescence lifetime of solutions, thin films, and solid-state samples.

(10) Measurement of the two-photon absorption cross section of solutions.

(11) Measurement of the two-photon fluorescence cross section of solutions.

(12) Measurement of the absorption and fluorescence spectra of rapid processes in the stopped-flow mode.

(13) Measurement of the size distribution of nanoparticle ensembles in aqueous and organic media by the dynamic light scattering method.

(14) Measurement of the surface potential of nanoparticles in the aqueous medium by the dynamic light scattering method.

(15) Analysis of the composition of the organic ligand shell by the temperature-programmed desorption method with mass-spectrometric detection of the desorbed substances.

(16) Measurement of the conductance of nanoparticle thin films or their composites with organic polymers.

 

 

3. List of standard procedures and/or services provided, with specification of the units of measure of the work performed and/or service provided and their cost in rubles, or the procedure for calculation of the cost

 

(1) Synthesis of core/shell quantum dots with cadmium selenide cores

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the quantum dot type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(2) Synthesis of quantum dots with lead sulfide/selenide cores

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the quantum dot type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(3) Synthesis of core/shell quantum dots with copper–indium sulfide/selenide cores

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the quantum dot type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(4) Synthesis of plasmonic nanoparticles

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the plasmonic nanoparticle type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(5) Synthesis of Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(6) Synthesis of quantum rods or nanoplates with cadmium selenide cores

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the nanoparticle type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(7) Development of the methods for the synthesis of quantum dots with unconventional structure

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the nanoparticle type, sample weight, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(8) Fabrication of the samples of composite materials based on polymers and quantum dots

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the matrix polymer type, quantum dot type, sample weight, weight percentage of quantum dots, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(9) Measurement of the optical properties of liquid samples in the visible and near/middle IR ranges (the absorption and fluorescence spectra, fluorescence decay kinetics, and fluorescence quantum yield)

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the measurement type, sample quality, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(10) Measurement of the optical properties of thin-film samples in the visible and near/middle IR ranges (the absorption and fluorescence spectra, fluorescence decay kinetics, and fluorescence quantum yield)

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the measurement type, sample quality, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(11) Measurement of the optical properties of solid samples in the visible and near/middle IR ranges (the absorption and fluorescence spectra, fluorescence decay kinetics, and fluorescence quantum yield)

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the measurement type, sample quality, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(12) Measurement of the physicochemical characteristics of colloidal solutions of nanoparticles (the size and surface charge)

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the measurement type, sample quality, and the degree of urgency of the work.

(13) Comparative estimation of the photostability of fluorescent nanoparticles

(14) Analysis of the composition of the organic ligand shell of nanocrystalls by the temperature-programmed desorption method

The cost of the service is negotiated on the basis of the measurement type, sample quality, and the degree of urgency of the work.

 

The cost of work on the chemical synthesis of nanomaterials is determined on the basis of depreciation of equipment, actually expended reagents and other materials, as well as salary of research and engineering staff.

The approximate cost of the synthesis of nanomaterials is 25,000 rubles per work day, exclusive of the cost of reagents and expendables.

 

The cost physicochemical characterization of nanomaterials is determined from the depreciation of equipment, as well as salary of research and engineering staff.

The approximate cost of the physicochemical characterization of nanomaterials is 15,000 rubles per work day, exclusive of the cost of expendables.

 

4. Rules of the access to the equipment of the infrastructure object regulating the procedures of works and services for scientific research, as well as exploratory developments in the interests of a third party, and the conditions for the permission of using the equipment at the infrastructure object

The access to the measurement equipment of the infrastructure object for carrying out scientific research, as well as exploratory developments in the interests of a third party is given upon a written permission of the director of the infrastructure object.

To obtain the permission for using the equipment, one should:

(1) submit a request to the director of the infrastructure object at MEPHI.MEGAcluster.infrastructure@gmail.com; the request should include the description of the work to be performed and its desired completion time;

(2) provide special work clothes and necessary expendables for the measurements; and

(3) get a briefing on the safety and procedures of operating the instrument.

The measurement equipment of the infrastructure object should be used only in the presence of staff members of the cluster of Mega-laboratories of NRNU MEPhI.

The access to the equipment of the Technological Unit of Design, Chemical Synthesis, and Purification of Semiconductor, Plasmonic, and Magnetic Nanomaterials is permitted only for the staff of the cluster of Mega-laboratories of NRNU MEPhI.

 
 
 
© 2012 Laboratory of Nano-BioEngineering