The materials research and education community at Georgia Tech has access to an extensive array of both centralized and distributed research facilities within Georgia Tech, as well as access to major user facilities such as those operated by the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and the National Science Foundation Materials Research Facilities Network.
Centralized materials user facilities on the Georgia Tech campus support a broad range of fabrication and characterization activities. These include materials fabrication within the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN), scanning and transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and a broad range of tools in the joint IMat-IEN Materials Characterization Facility (MCF), and mechanical testing within the Mechanical Properties Research Laboratory.
The MCF, launched in summer 2015, is providing overarching policies for access, scheduling and billing, as well as enhanced user support and technical assistance. These services will enhance the collaborative environment for research and education in materials by increasing equipment utilization, reducing redundancy of capabilities and expensive acquisitions, informing coordination of facilities in hiring and retention packages, and providing additional pathways for equipment sustenance through cost recovery.
In addition to these centralized facilities, a major thrust of the Institute for Materials is to provide enhanced access for campus faculty to distributed shared resources in various academic units. An on-line equipment search capability (ShaRa) was developed by IMat and rolled out in 2014 for use by Georgia Tech faculty, staff and students.