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The Institute provides support in materials engineering and research over a broad range of technologies and capabilities. AMERI works with commercial companies throughout the region to conduct device fabrication, materials development, and failure analysis. It is the only full-service facility in South Florida to offer all of these services in one place.
The Institute services Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami. More than 20 faculty members and close to 100 graduate students use the facilities, supporting almost 10 million dollars in existing federal research grants.
AMERI has two levels of clean rooms – an outside level, class 10,000, and an inside level, class 100. The Institute provides a wide range of MEMs and nanofabrication tools to enable process development toward final application. Deep reactive ion etch and e-beam lithography tools can create high aspect ratio features with nanoscale feature size and patterning. The processing of thin films and coatings using P-E-C-V-D, A-L-D, C-V-D and evaporation is also possible. The interior clean room offers a full suite of photolithography tools. Sensors, bio-sensors, micro-devices, filters, micro-batteries, and micro-supercapacitors can all be developed, batch processed, and analyzed within the laboratories’ clean environment.
The analytical suite is home to four electron microscopes. Our focused ion beam can be used for nanoscale sample manufacturing, site-specific compositional analysis, and high-resolution imaging. Two S-E-Ms are available, one table-top version for quick analysis and a field emission microscope for in-depth high-resolution imaging. In addition, the institute houses a T-E-M for imaging and crystallography down to the atomic scale. From in-house process development to analysis of in-service failed parts, the AMERI has characterization tools for a vast range of scales and applications.
Housed within the focused ion beam are two in situ mechanical testing tools; a micro load frame and an in situ nanoindenter. The combined setup allows researchers to gain new insight into the deformation and failure of materials by linking quantitative load displacement data with high-resolution imaging. The response of advanced materials developed by AMERI users can be monitored in real-time at the nanoscale, guiding future processing, and drastically reducing development cycle time. A stand-alone nanoindenter is also available for high throughput analysis of material behavior.
The nanobioengineering and bioelectronics lab, located inside AMERI, is developing several optical and electrical biosensing platforms coupling micro/nano materials, microfluidic technology, and nanoparticles for the detection of biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and DNA oxidative damage. The novel approaches being developed in the lab could be applied to the diagnosis of chronic conditions such as cardiac disease, and acute events like stroke.
The lab is also working on whole cell analysis and manipulations that look at the development of whole cell based electronic biosensors for monitoring and modulating cellular behaviors at the single cell level or for a group of cells.
Additional research is being conducted in the area of environmental sensors for biological toxins and other chemical pollution assay. The collaborative effort focuses on the development of environmental biosensors for the detection of pathogenic bacteria cells, explosive compounds, radioactive and heavy metals and pesticide and phosphate contaminants.
For the past decade, AMERI has been supporting research that spans across the various science and engineering disciplines, enabling the future of materials for energy, sustainability and health. From new materials for batteries and energy storage, to lightweight metallic alloys and corrosion resistant ceramic coatings, to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and Parkinson’s disease, to improved methods to detect and treat HIV. It all starts at the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute.
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