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shared facilities

MRSEC researchers enjoy ready access to a number of multiuser instrumentation facilities at the University of Minnesota, as well as to selected equipment in individual laboratories within the College of Science and Engineering, including:

These facilities are available to UMN investigators and external academic and industrial customers. The CSE Characterization Facility, the Minnesota Nano Center, and the Polymer Characterization Facility offer a tiered user fee structure. Users from the UMN, other academic institutions, and IPRIME Visiting Scientists are charged at University rates. Students, postdocs, faculty, MRSEC summer participants, and external academic and industrial visitors have full hands-on access to the equipment after training and certification by the appropriate staff. These shared facilities create a natural environment for stimulating collaborative interactions among individuals from numerous sectors. Many of the professional staff are internationally recognized experts in their fields and formally collaborate with MRSEC investigators and individuals from other institutions.

Titan STEM/TEM microscope in laboratory

Scientists working at the Characterization Facility

Characterization Facility

12 Shepherd Labs
100 Union St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

phone: 612-626-7594


The Characterization Facility ("CharFac") is a multi-user, shared instrumentation facility for materials research spanning from nanotechnology to biology and medicine.

This facility provides access to:

Scientist observing sample at the Minnesota Nano Center

Minnesota Nano Center

140 Physics & Nanotechnology Building
115 Union St. SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

phone: 612-624-8005


The Minnesota Nano Center (MNC) supports the fabrication, synthesis, and characterization of nanoscale devices and materials for both academic and industrial users. The lab offers all of the major pieces of processing equipment needed for top-down fabrication; instruments for nanoparticle synthesis and analysis; and facilities to support live cell culture and the biological applications of nanotechnology.

This facility provides access to:

View down the server stacks at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

559 Walter Library
117 Pleasant St. SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

phone: 612-624-0528


The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute has the software, hardware, and experts to provide the support you need for your research no matter what the research area.

This facility provides access to:

Photo of lab equipment at the Polymer Characterization Facility

Polymer Characterization Facility

Amundson Hall
421 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis MN 55455

For Information Contact Dr. David Giles

phone: 612-625-0880


The Polymer Characterization Facility is available to University researchers and industrial clients. Assistance or collaboration is available for testing, training, and interpretation of results.

This facility provides access to:

Photo of samples at the Molecular Characterization Facilities

Molecular Characterization Facilities
(LeClaire-Dow Instrumentation Facility)

193 Kolthoff Hall
225 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The Molecular Characerization Facilities house the:

These laboratories annually support hundreds of researchers in the Department of Chemistry, across the university, and from other institutions and industries.

These facilities provide access to:

Mass Spectrometry Laboratory

Seven mass spectrometers:

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory

Six NMR spectrometers:

X-Ray Crystallographic Laboratory

Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN)

The Materials Research Facilities Network is a nationwide partnership of NSF supported MRSEC centers designed to provide support to researchers in the broad area of Materials Research in academic, government and industrial laboratories around the world. The goal of the Facilities Network is to provide users with unprecedented access to instruments, techniques and collaborators in order to enhance their studies of the synthesis, characterization and theory of materials.

To inquire about possible MRFN financial support to supplement user fees for equipment and services at the University of Minnesota, email:

National Science Foundation

Funded by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award Number DMR-2011401

Contact Information


435 Amundson Hall, 421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: 612-626-0713 | F: 612-626-7805