CHANL’s Bob Geil Recognized as a Hero in Austria

In late September, Bob Geil received an email from Stephan Kaseman, a scientist at the FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Stephan’s Deep Reactive Ion Etcher (DRIE) had stopped working after some damaged components were replaced, and he could not find anyone to help him service the system. As a long shot, he reached out to Bob because CHANL has the same DRIE system. Bob shared over 40 screen shots of the DRIE’s configuration files with the Austrian scientist to help troubleshoot! They exchanged emails ~25 more times to gather additional configuration files. After this substantial effort, Stephan recently emailed Bob to let him know that the system was operational again, stating, “I think I’ll print out your photo from the UNC website and stick it to the machine’s control rack, marked with the caption Hero.” Apparently he was not kidding. Congrats to Bob on his elevation to hero status!


Rigaku SmartLab X-ray Diffractometer coming soon to CHANL

CHANL is thrilled to offer powder and thin film x-ray diffraction with a new Rigaku SmartLab X-ray diffractometer (XRD). This system is capable of grazing angle measurements for measuring diffraction from thin films and possesses an in-plane diffraction arm for measuring crystalline planes perpendicular to the sample surface. Samples with periodicity on length scales up to 100 nm can be characterized with the SAXS unit, and micro area measurements with spot sizes as small as 100 μm are also possible.  Rocking curves, pole figures, and reflectivity measurements are all available with this system, which is also equipped with a HyPix-3000 2D detector. A number of sample stages allowing for sample heating and cooling (-100ºC to 1,000ºC) and environmental control (inert atmosphere, vacuum, reactive gas) are available for interesting in situ measurements. The SmartLab Guidance software makes these measurements easy to implement as it guides users to install the correct optical components, and walks them through the appropriate alignments before measurements begin. Powerful analysis software includes access to the ICDD PDF2 database, allows for Rietveld whole pattern fitting, and 2D pattern analysis.

If you would like additional information about this tool, please email Carrie Donley (

How to Make It and Use It – A Microfluidic Workshop

The Center of BioModular Multi-Scale Systems in conjunction with RTNN will host a microfluidic workshop at the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL). This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to learn about patterning structures across different length scales (nm→μm) and become familiar with a number of important application areas – microfluidics and nanofluidics for biological/biomedical applications. There will be lectures (mornings) covering relevant technological and application areas. In the afternoons, there will be on-site demonstrations of fabrication
equipment and hands-on experiments focused on making a microfluidic device and using it. More details can be found here.

Register here. RTNN is able to offset costs associated with registration and travel to a limited number of participants who demonstrate need. To apply for support, please visit the RTNN support page.

RTNN Lunch and Learn at UNC-Chapel Hill

Come learn about unique capabilities that could aid in your research! Over lunch, Roberto Garcia (lab manager of NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility, AIF), Dr. John Muth (director of the NC State Nanofabrication Facility, NNF) and Dr. Mark Walters (director of Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility, SMIF) will highlight instrumentation at their respective facilities. The RTNN will provide free lunch to all attendees. This talk will take place at UNC: Chapman Hall, Room 125.

Biosensors and Force Measurements in Living Cells

The Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL) will host a workshop discussing how and why forces are applied to cells experimentally as well as how responses to these forces are measured using fluorescence-based biosensors, a combined Atomic Force Microscopy, AFM, -optical microscope system combined with vertical light sheet, and magnetic tweezers. In the mornings, participants will hear lectures about various techniques used to apply and measure forces within and generated by cells as well as image analysis tools. In the afternoons, participants will receive hands-on experience with different techniques including AFM, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, and magnetic force systems.

More information and a detailed schedule can be found on the event website. Click here to register. Registration fee includes lab supplies, light breakfasts and snacks, and one dinner. Workshop is limited to 18 participants.