Core Facilities News - April 2024 - Ultrafast Laser Highlight

  • 2024-04-01

Core Research Facilities April 2024 Newsletter

ASU Core Research Facilities


April 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to the ASU Core Facilities Newsletter. We are ready to support all your research goals. Please follow our LinkedIn page for additional resources and community information.


Ultrafast Laser Facility


Ultrafast Laser Facility Header Image


For this month's newsletter, we're going to focus on the people that make our Ultrafast Laser Facility, part of our larger Biosciences Core, so great!

The Ultrafast Laser (UFL) Facility leads in time-resolved laser spectroscopy, using cutting-edge femtosecond and picosecond pulsed lasers with spectroscopes and microscopes. This enables real-time kinetic measurements across various wavelengths for dynamic process characterization. We specialize in advanced laser technologies for chemical, biological and materials science research, offering high spatial resolution and sensitivity, including at the single-molecule level, to meet modern research needs.


Meet the UFL team


Anton Khmelnitskiy


Anton Khmelnitskiy, a research professional and a manager of the UFL.

Anton's research investigates ultrafast dynamics of excitation energy transfer and charge separation in both natural and artificial systems. Anton is recognized as an expert in laser spectroscopy and experimental data analysis.


Doug Daniel


Doug Daniel is a manager in the UFL and also works in the Eyring Materials Center.

Doug's area of expertise is in Raman spectroscopy, powder x-ray diffraction, microscopy and time correlated single photon counting.


UFL's equipment

The Ultrafast Laser Facility acquired two new advanced laser setups at the end of 2023.


Astrella Lasers

Known for their reliability, user-friendly operation, and integrated design that combines the femtosecond oscillator and Ti:Sapphire amplifier together with pump lasers in a single unit. Astrella lasers are built with stability and precision in mind, offering consistent performance that is critical for research applications.




Astrella is coupled to Opera, an optical parametric amplifier from Coherent, which extends the wavelength range of these ultrafast pulses well beyond fixed 800 nm, which is required for pump-probe spectroscopy of various samples. As a result, this combination can produce femtosecond pulses at wavelengths from 240 nm (UV) up to 20,000 nm (IR) seamlessly.


Chameleon Discovery NX


Chameleon Discovery NX


The Discovery NX is an ultrafast tunable laser with a repetition rate of 80 MHz. It delivers the highest power to address needs of users of fluorescence microscopy, time correlated single photon counting and streak camera fluorescence measurements. Additional harmonic generation setup provides gap-free, automated tuning from 330 nm to 1320 nm and the PulsSelect module allows for decreasing the repetition rate to sub KHz.


Transient Absorption Spectroscopy

Broadband Pump-Pulse Spectrometer


UFL Supports Research


Mazor Lab research graphic


Mazor Lab

In the Mazor Lab, the team uses short-pulsed lasers to examine how the structure and function of membrane complexes are related in the process of oxygenic photosynthesis. Specifically, graduate student Jin Li from Dr. Yuval Mazor's group is conducting this research in partnership with the Ultrafast Laser Facility.


Redding Lab research graphic


Redding Lab

In the Redding Lab, graduate student Jesse Granstrom, working under Dr. Kevin Redding, has employed the HELIOS ultrafast laser spectrometer and Astrella laser. This equipment was used to investigate the rate of electron transfer within the T440V mutant of the heliobacterial reaction center, a variant known for perturbations in its iron-sulfur (FeS) or FX cluster.


Moore Lab research graphic


Moore Lab

The Moore Lab is leveraging transient absorption methods to investigate proton dynamics in hydrogen-bonded systems. Their work is centered on understanding how protons move in response to electron transfer.

Simultaneously, the team is examining the photonic behavior of porphyrin derivatives and the potential to boost photocatalytic reactions.

Research conducted by Emmanuel Odella, Rodrigo Dominguez and Edwin Gonzalez of the Tom and Ana Moore lab in collaboration with Ultrafast Laser Facility manager Anton Khmelnitskiy.

The impact of the Moore Lab's research.



The PshX subunit of the photochemical reaction center from Heliobacterium modesticaldum acts as a low-energy antenna

Dr. Su Lin, formerly of the Ultrafast Laser Facility at ASU Core Research Facilities, assisted with transient absorbance experiments in this research.


Publication research graphic



Researchers discovered a new polypeptide, PshX, in Heliobacterium modesticaldum's photochemical center that binds bacteriochlorophyll g. Using CRISPR-Cas, they created a ∆pshX strain and found that PshX functions as a low-energy antenna subunit in energy transfer.


Plasmid pPB1258 was modified to include a kanamycin resistance cassette and variants pPB1322 and pPB1384 were created using Golden Gate assembly to target pshX with CRISPR. Helper plasmids pPB191 and pGO1717 were designed to facilitate these plasmids' transfer.


The pshX gene, found across various Heliobacteriaceae species, suggests an ancient, conserved role, emphasizing the need for further study on its function and distribution in heliobacterial genomes.

Delve into the researchers' findings.



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Successful Linux Cluster Institute Hosted by ASU Research Computing

  • 2024-03-26

ASU Research Computing hosted its first collaborative training event with the Linux Cluster Institute offering introductory level training at our SkySong facility on February 5 - 9, 2024. The Research Computing team presented technical course material while sharing knowledge and best practices during a close-knit, hands-on networking event with attendees from over 30 other universities and organizations!

What is LCI? The Linux Clusters Institute (LCI) provides education and advanced technical training for the deployment and use of computing clusters to the high performance computing (HPC) community worldwide. Founded in 1998, it includes some of the world’s foremost specialists in building and deploying clustered high-performance computing systems. LCI is the premier international forum to share information on management, administration, and advanced computing techniques for high performance computing.

Why does this event matter? This is the first LCI workshop to be hosted at ASU. With over 30 universities and organizations in attendance, this event was a huge success to not only our local high-performance computing community, but to our communities and networks worldwide. The materials from this workshop were also presented by ASU HPC System Administrators, William Dizon and Alan Chapman.

See photos here!

Which Universities or Organizations were in attendance?

Arkansas Children's Hospital
BioFrontiers Institute - University of Colorado at Boulder
Cal Poly Pomona
California State University, Fullerton
Clark Atlanta University
Converge Technology Solutions
Data In Science Technologies
East Carolina University
Guidehouse (NIH/NHLBI)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mississippi State University HPC²
Missouri State University
Morgan State University
University of Missouri - Columbia
Naval Postgraduate School National Center for Atmospheric Research
North Carolina A&T State University
Nova Southeastern University Florida
Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division
Purdue University
Saint Louis University
San Diego State University
Texas A&M University
The MITRE Corporation
University of California Santa Cruz
University of Illinois
University of Minnesota
University of South Florida
US Geological Survey
Washington University School of Medicine

Core Facilities News - March 2024 - METAL Staff Highlight

  • 2024-03-01
ASU Core Research Facilities


METAL Newsletter Header Image


Welcome to the ASU Core Facilities Newsletter. We are ready to support all your research goals. Please follow our LinkedIn page for additional resources and community information.


Metals, Environmental and Terrestrial Analytical Laboratory (METAL) Core

For this month's newsletter, we're going to focus on the people that make our METAL Core, one of our Materials Characterization and Synthesis facilities, so great!


A researcher in one of METAL's labs


Meet the METAL team


Dr. Gordon Graphic


Dr. Gordon specializes in mass-dependent and radiogenic isotopes, with extensive expertise in ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS and IRMS.

She has been dedicated to elevating ASU as a forefront institution for forensic science research. Collaborating across various disciplines and ASU campuses, she helped establish the Forensic Science Initiative.

This initiative facilitates collaboration between academic researchers and forensic practitioners to address societal needs through research guided by ASU's extensive expertise in science, technology, law and social science.

Dr. Gordon's website.


Graphic with Sarah's bioGraphic with Tyler's bio


"No two days are quite the same and METAL gets to work with researchers across many fields and from all around the globe." - Tyler Goepfert


Tyler in the lab with another researcher

Tyler wields a sledgehammer as he prepares the lab for the new Neoma.


Tyler trained in Germany on one of the earliest commercially available multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers (MC-ICP-MS), the VG Axiom.

Now more than a decade later, Tyler is still going strong with the great fortune here at ASU to start working with the most state-of-the-art multi-collector on the market, the recently installed Neoma MC-ICP-MS. With METAL's resources, he can work together with students, staff, industry and other guests to quantify even the most subtle of isotope signatures out there.

METAL has the infrastructure to process just about any material and evaluate the isotope composition to probe nearly infinite questions about the world and indeed the universe around us! With many established methods and continuously expanding new methods, our only limit to what we can do is the hours in the day.

How METAL supports research.


METAL Equipment Highlights

Elemental Scientific PrepFAST MC

Thermo Scientific Quadrupole ICP-MS


More METAL Core equipment videos.



METAL's resources support education


Instrumentation in the METAL facilities

Jenna Watson visits METAL


Jenna Watson from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, made a visit to METAL to process samples for her doctoral dissertation. Jenna's research focuses on utilizing stable isotope analysis to investigate dietary composition and geographic mobility among human groups from late medieval Romania.

During her visit, Jenna utilized METAL facilities including our trace clean laboratory and our ICP-MS technology. She also employed our Prepfast equipment for sample preparation. Excitingly, Jenna's strontium isotope samples will be among the first to be analyzed using our new Thermo Fisher Neoma MC-ICP-MS, showcasing the cutting-edge capabilities of our research facilities.


Announcing ASU SolarSPELL's new design!


SolarSPELL Hardware

The SolarSPELL in use in Rwanda


ASU SolarSPELL has introduced a revamped design for its digital libraries, created with input from ASU's students, faculty and staff - including that of our Instrument Design and Fabrication Core. The updated design features a smaller, more robust case made from recycled plastic, enhancing its durability. Its innovative, patent-pending charge controller harnesses solar power and connects to an offline web platform, improving the overall utility and educational impact of the libraries.

These enhanced SolarSPELL libraries are already benefiting communities in Rwanda and the Hopi Tribe in Arizona. In Rwanda, they aid agricultural education alongside B2R Farms, and in Arizona, they provide essential health education to the Hopi Tribe. This reflects SolarSPELL's dedication to delivering educational resources to remote and underserved regions, using technology to support community empowerment and sustainable growth.

More about SolarSPELL's new hardware design.

How the SolarSPELL is changing the world.



Trace element concentration as proxies for diagenetic alteration in the African archaeofaunal record: Implications for isotope analysis

This research used METAL's recently retired Thermo Scientific Neptune and gives a preview of what is possible with our Neoma MC-ICP-MS, which has recently been installed.


Publication graphic



Isotope ratio analyses of hard tissues like tooth enamel and ostrich eggshell (OES) inform mobility and paleoecology. Researchers enhanced the Maximum Threshold Concentrations (MTCs) method to screen for diagenesis, introducing a new metric (MTR) of 85Rb/88Sr.


The research measured elemental concentrations in modern ostrich eggshell (OES) and Rb/Sr ratios by LA-MC-ICP-MS in the same samples, followed by the calculation of maximum threshold concentrations and ratios.


Trace element concentrations vary by specimen origin, emphasizing the need for locality-specific reference sets for OES. The research proposed a cutoff of around 10e1 ΣREE for unaltered samples, especially when uranium levels are low. Additionally, typical MTR around 10e−4 indicate unaltered enamel and OES.

Delve into the researchers' findings.



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Core Facilities News - February 2024 - Regenerative Medicine Staff Highlight

  • 2024-02-01
ASU Core Research Facilities


Regenerative Medicine Core Hero Image


Welcome to the ASU Core Facilities Newsletter. We are ready to support all your research goals. Please follow our LinkedIn page for additional resources and community information.


Regenerative Medicine Core Showcase

For this month's newsletter, we're going to focus on the people that make our Regenerative Medicine Core so great! Part of our larger Biosciences Core, the "Regen Med" facilities offer an extensive range of cell culture instruments, support and services.

The Regenerative Medicine Core houses the Histology, Flow Cytometry and Advanced Light Microscopy Cores, which makes it a comprehensive suite for medical research. The Core is equipped with state-of-the-art tools to support a wide array of research activities.


Students getting hands-on experience in the lab.


The Regenerative Medicine Core Facility at Arizona State University combines expertise on cellular and molecular biology, with the combination of microscopy, histology and flow cytometry.

The Regenerative Medicine Core facilitates research by offering training in cell and stem cell culture, nucleic acid analysis, biomolecule spectral analysis and techniques for preparing cells and tissues for analysis and sorting.


Regen Med provides advanced resources for cell and tissue imaging, including fully automated stations for tissue processing, sectioning, and staining, as well as sophisticated microscopes designed for both live and fixed sample imaging. This includes high-resolution microscopy, whole slide imaging capabilities, and comprehensive software packages for the analysis of complex images.

Meet the Regen Med team


Dr. Zerrin UzumGraphic with information about Zerrin UzumRegen Med Core combines multiple cores under its umbrella.Regenerative medicine core team: Solange, Zerrin and Adam


Solange Steadman, the Facility Manager of our Histology Core, earned her biology degrees from ASU, including a recent master's. Her expertise in histology services for fixed tissues and user training has greatly enriched the capabilities of the new Histology Core within the Bioscience Core.

Adam Kindelin oversees the Flow Cytometry Core. He combines his biology degree from ASU with extensive neuroscience expertise gained at the Barrow Neurological Institute, specializing in fluorescently activated cell sorting (FACS), cell analysis, multi-color panel design, wet lab support and data analysis.

Our team provides advanced imaging instrumentation, trainings and services with the Advanced Light Microscopy Core.

Our talented microscopists, Dr. Zerrin Uzum, Dr. Page Baluch and Dr. Honor Glenn , operate state-of-the-art microscopes, manage the cell culture facilities supporting the live imaging and train the student to acquire high quality images.

How Regen Med supports research.



Regenerative Medicine Educational Resources


Regenerative Medicine Workshop


Regenerative Medicine Workshop


The Regen Med Core offers ASU scientists and students a variety of learning opportunities, including training on equipment and techniques from basic to advanced levels, technology demonstrations, hands-on workshops on innovative technologies, and seminars covering both fundamental concepts and the latest industry developments.

Regenerative Medicine Workshops and Seminars.


Regen Med Core Community Outreach

Dr. Page Baluch, Assistant Director of the Biosciences Core, manages multiple facilities, conducts research and champions science education for the wider community and youth.

Dr. Baluch actively volunteers for editorial tasks for publications such as "Microscopy Today" and leads community outreach initiatives. She can often be found participating in Sun Devil Microscopy Club events. One example is the "Pattern Investigation with ASU Microscopy" booth she and Dr. Zerrin Uzum worked at a Phoenix Art Museum exhibition.


Pattern investigation signage at Phoenix Art Museum


Kid looking at patterns under a microscope.


Dr. Zerrin Uzum and Dr. Page Baluch with other microscopy club volunteers at the Pattern Investigation booth at the Phoenix Art Museum




CytoDirect: A Nucleic Acid Nanodevice for Specific and Efficient Delivery of Functional Payloads to the Cytoplasm

This groundbreaking research utilized our Bioscience Core's Mass Spectrometry, Flow Cytometry and Advanced Light Microscopy facilities, showcasing their impact on global scientific advancements.


CytoDirect is a DNA nanodevice that utilizes the programmability of DNA nanotechnology for efficient delivery directly into cancer cells, bypassing endo/lysosomal capture. This research underscores the effectiveness of affibody modifications, enhancing the capabilities of DNA nanostructures in targeted therapy and disease management.


The study focuses on the design, construction, and analysis of CytoDirect, particularly its ability to target HER2-overexpressing SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells. It examines how CytoDirect is distributed within cells, investigates how it enters cells and explores its potential for delivering therapeutic oligonucleotides and small-molecule anticancer drugs.


CytoDirect utilizes disulfide and HER2 affibody modifications on DNA origami for rapid cytosolic uptake and effective tumor penetration, significantly improving treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer. This method addresses the challenges of precise and effective drug delivery to deep tissues, offering a promising approach for enhanced therapy.


CytoDirect Publication graphic.


Delve into the researchers' findings.



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Core Facilities News - January 2024 - AMPED Batteries Special Edition

  • 2024-01-01
ASU Core Research Facilities


Technicians in the lab


Welcome to the ASU Core Facilities Newsletter. We are ready to support all your research goals. Please follow our LinkedIn page for additional resources and community information.



ASU is working to increase the power density of batteries while decreasing battery size through new materials and process and manufacturing techniques to improve the future of power storage. The ASU Core Research Facilities house numerous pieces of specialized equipment and expert staff that support battery research and development, from fabrication to testing.

Eyring Materials Center

EMC proudly supports the AMPED initiative, contributing to the acquisition of advanced technologies like Sigray, PrismaE SEM, CleanMill and air-sensitive XPS holders.

These enhancements, made possible through AMPED funding, highlight EMC's commitment to fostering innovation within our community.

EMC supports the AMPED STC batteries initiative by offering a diverse array of instrumentation.

STOE STADI P transmission X-ray diffractometer


Measurements in operando during battery operation. It assesses crystallinity, identifies present phases and pair distribution functions.

X-ray Photoelectron Kratos Axis Supra+

Kratos Axis Supra+

Provides surface chemistry insights with two air-sensitive sample options.

SAXS Xenocs Xeuss 3.0

Xenocs Xeuss 3.0

Equipped with air-sensitive sample holders, analyzes battery materials, revealing domain size, crystallography.

Rigaku SmartLab X-ray Diffractometer

Rigaku SmartLab

For samples that are less air-sensitive or suitable for analysis in air.

Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy

Uses a fingerprint technique to identify materials based on vibrations. Its sensitivity gives information on composition and strain.

Electron Microscopy

CleanMill ion beam polisher paired with the Clean connect transfer system ensures air-free sample transport from the ion polishing instrument to the new Prisma E SEM.

Prisma environmental SEM, installed in December 2023, will be available for general SEM imaging as well as imaging of samples loaded via the air free transport ensuring no surface change due to interaction with air.

TEM also offers multiple battery material analysis options, available at both ambient and cryogenic temperatures


How EMC supports materials science.



Advanced Electronics & Photonics

The Advanced Electronics & Photonics (AEP) Core Facility has several pieces of equipment that can be used in the characterization and processing of Batteries.

Keyence VK-X3000

The Keyence VK-X3000 Laser Confocal Microscope performs nanometer-scale topology, surface mapping, profiling of sidewalls and has the capability to detect birefringence.



Battery Characterizing and Processing Equipment

Mettler Toledo Titration Equipment

Mettler Toldeo Titraion Equipment

Determines the amount of a substance. The chemical reaction is monitored either by color change with a photometric sensor, a suitable pH, redox, conductivity or surfactant sensor.


Hioki RM2610 Electrode Resistance Tester

Hioki RM2610 Electrode Resistance Tester

Consists of the RM9003 Press, RM2611 Meter and control software. The system isolates and quantifies composite layer and interface resistance in positive and negative electrode sheets used in lithium-ion-batteries.


Thinky ARE-310 Centrifugal Mixer

Thinky ARE-310 Centrifugal Mixer



Equipment with battery device manufacturing capabilities

CHA Evaporation Chamber

CHA Evaporation Chamber

Dedicated to non-silicon processing with 4 evaporation pockets. No substrates pieces are being too small or too big given a wide range of materials to choose from.


Angstrom Glovebox Evaporation Deposition

Angstrom Glovebox Evaporation Deposition

Housed in a nitrogen glovebox, the spin coater is employed for perovskite spin processing and the evaporation chamber, features 11 pockets for metal and organic sources.



MRC 603 sputter system

MRC 603 sputter system

A vacuum system which uses argon and oxygen ionized in a plasma to impact a metal or ceramic “target”. MRC can be fixtures to fit any currently available solar cell substrate.


Metrology equipment for wide band gap and power devices

Woollam Ellipsometer M2000

Woollam M-2000 Ellipsometer

Woollam Ellipsometer M2000 measures the change in the polarization state of light as it is reflected off the surface of the film under analysis and its substrate.


TA Instruments HR-20 Rheometero: Measures viscosity of a mixture. Used on battery electrolyte and electrode mixtures to verify run-to-run consistency.

Optical characterization equipment: Flexus stress gauge, Thermo Nicolet 6700 FTIR, RPM-2000 Photoluminescence.

Physical characterization equipment for measuring surface roughness or topology: Park XE-150 AFM and Tencor P-16 Profilometer.


How AEP supports battery and microelectronics R&D


Solar Fab

The Solar Fab Core is nearing completion of the installation and initial operation of two Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Systems. ALD is a technique used to accurately coat substrates with thin films through a controlled, sequential exposure to various precursor materials.

ALD will be instrumental in improvement of Battery interface stability, necessary to enable ultra fast charging for both Li-ion and solid-state batteries.

Veeco Fiji ALD

Veeco Fiji ALD

A plasma and thermal ALD compatible with 200 mm semiconductor substrates.


Veeco Savannah ALD

Veeco Savannah ALD

A thermal ALD system compatible with 300 mm semiconductor substrates.



How Solar Fab helps ASU advance clean energy research.



Arizona Commerce Authority will allocate the funding to purchase equipment to enhance the capabilities of ASU’s MacroTechnology Works (MTW) in Tempe

ACA allocates $17.5M Investment to ASU

ASU plans to expand advanced packaging and GaN research to additional capabilities that support 6G, IoT, machine learning and more. The expansion will also include workforce development initiatives such as internships and university joint research and next-gen GaN research development for 6G in partnership with NXP Semiconductors in Chandler.



Explore ASU's manufacturing expansion plans.




A hydrogen-enriched layer in the topmost outer core sourced from deeply subducted water

We're proud to acknowledge that some of this groundbreaking research utilized resources from Arizona State University's METAL Core, showcasing the impact of our facilities on global scientific advancements.


The researchers' experiments reveal that water interacting with Fe–Si alloys under core–mantle boundary conditions produces SiO2 and FeHx, potentially explaining the distinct properties of the Eʹ layer and indicating a long-term chemical exchange between Earth's core and mantle.


The Earth's outer core is 10% less dense than pure iron-nickel alloy, suggesting the presence of lighter elements. Our study focuses on a new hydrogen-silicon exchange process at the core-mantle boundary (CMB), shedding light on the Eʹ layer's formation and the development of chemical heterogeneities.


Water from minerals reacts with Fe–Si, hydrogenating iron and oxidizing silicon into silica, which may transform ferropericlase into bridgmanite or post-perovskite.

A hydrogen-enriched layer in the topmost outer coure sourced from deeply subducted water


Delve into the researchers' findings



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