Virginia Tech Crystallography (VTX) Laboratory

The VTX laboratory is equipped with powder and single crystal diffractometers that support a wide range of methods and experiments. In general, we are capable of characterizing materials with crystallinity ranging from crystalline to partially crystalline to amorphous, and sample forms that include single crystals, loose powders, polycrystalline solids (e.g., pressed pellets), liquid suspensions of particles, and multi-layered samples. The VTX laboratory is located in the Integrated Life Sciences Building (ILSB) in the Corporate Research Center (CRC) at Virginia Tech. It is maintained and operated by faculty in Departments of Geosciences (Nancy Ross and Marc Michel) and Chemistry (Carla Slebodnick).

Panalytical Empyrean Nano Edition

A multipurpose x-ray scattering platform equipped with optical components, stages, two x-ray sources, and two detectors to perform different scattering-based measurements including:

  • High-resolution powder x-ray diffraction (pXRD)
  • Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS)
  • X-ray reflectivity (XRR)
  • Grazing-incidence diffraction (GI-XRD)
  • High-energy total scattering for pair distribution function (PDF) analysis (Ag source only)

Two radiation sources (Cu and Ag) are available, as well as a proportional detector and high-efficiency GaliPIX3D area detector. Sample holders and requirements are different for each type of experiment (see examples below).

Brass holders for SAXS/WAXS of powders and flat samples

Capillary holder for SAXS of liquid suspensions and SAXS/WAXS analysis of powders

Sample changer for pXRD of powders and other samples (e.g., pellets)

Custom liquid flow cell for in situ SAXS measurements

Rigaku Synergy

A state-of-the-art single crystal diffractometer equipped with two x-ray microsources (Cu and Mo), HyPix 6000 HE hybrid photon counting detector, and Cryostream 800 Plus system

  • Single crystal x-ray diffraction (scXRD) of inorganic materials (Mo source)
  • scXRD of MOFs, absolute structure determination of chiral organics, and screening of macromolecules prior to synchrotron experiments (Cu source)
  • Variable temperature scXRD (100-500 K)
  • Variable pressure scXRD in diamond anvil cell (0-10 GPa)
  • Specialized WAXS experiments (e.g., <1 mg quantity pXRD, variable temp, thin films)

Please contact Carla Slebodnick (slebodnick@vt.edu) for additional information regarding access.

Environmental Nanoscience and 3D Printing Laboratory

This is a 900 ft2 space in Derring Hall that is primarily used as a fabrication, synthesis and experimentation laboratory. The space includes ~250 ft2 of lab bench space and standard laboratory facilities including solvent and acid storage cabinets, refrigerators for sample and chemical storage, gas canister storage, and desk space with a shared computer and printer. The lab is equipped with inverse stereolithography 3D printers and accessories for washing and post-curing 3D-printed parts. This lab space is also equipped for synthesis and aging experiments. Other equipment available in this lab include: balances, centrifuges, ultrasonicator, heated shaker incubation cabinet, multimeters (pH, redox, DO, ion-selective probes), and a UV-vis spectrophotometer.

Formlabs Form 2 Printers

Form Wash & Form Cure Stations

Custom Reactors and Devices

Standard mixed flow reactors with varying inputs, internal volumes, and connections. Image by FMM.

Crystal Structure Models

Aluminosilicate and carbon nanotube structures. Input models . Image by FMM.

Fossil Models

Dinosaur jaw bone. Input model from CT scan. Image courtesy of Ben Kligman, VT Greosciences

Electron microscopy facility located in the VT Corporate Research Center