CAS Research Instrumentation Program

The College of Arts & Sciences launched a new  Research Instrumentation program in 2016.  The program required combined CAS department contributions to purchase the following research instrumentation:

CERI:  14TB ZFS supermicro file server

This file server is used as a common resource for CERI Mac, Linux, and SunOS computers for data storage. An extensive amount of research performed by students in the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), the department where the equipment is housed, is data intensive and the department was at 75% of storage capacity. The server is supplying additional data needs for graduate students and faculty on CERI IT systems. Read additional Information on the File Server and CERI's Computing Policy

Chemistry:  NanoSight LM10 Nanoparticle Analysis System and gold target to be used with AJA Orion 5 Sputter System

AJA Au Target

Major features and specifications
The Au target was purchased from AJA International in March 2017. It is 2" dia x 0.25'' thick. It is now used with the AJA Orion 5 Sputter System in Imaging Microscopy Center (IMC) to make Au film on substrates such as glass slides and silicon wafer via high vacuum deposition. Coating Au on substrates is widely used by many users in chemistry, physics, and biomedical engineering to develop miniaturized devices for chemical and biomedical applications.

The management team
Omar Skalli (faculty): e-mail: imc@memphis.edu, Phone: (901) 678-1730 or
Felio Perez: e-mail: imc@memphis.edu Phone: (901) 678-4441

Example of research use
The Huang group in Chemistry is a heavy user of the Au target. Using the Au slides made with the Au target, her group is developing miniaturized devices to detect and analyze exosomes and other types of extracellular vesicles for fundamental cancer research and development of a new generation cancer liquid biopsy. Using the Au slides made by IMC with the Au target, her group has generated one manuscript under revision (Theoranostics. Impact factor: 8.8) and one invention disclosure (in the process). It also helped her generate substantial amount of preliminary data that enable us to resubmit a NIH R21 proposal. Read the full documentation on the equipment.

Computer Sciences:  Powerwolf cluster to enable cybersecurity research not suitable on the university HPC system, and use of virtual machines to support multiple operating systems

Unique Capabilities (not available on university's cluster)

  • Availability of Virtual Machines to support OSs other than CentOS
  • Capability for users to donate nodes for guaranteed usage
  • Installing and using other software that might not be allowed to install on the University's cluster
  • Sudo permissions for software with approval from cluster admin

Hardware Summary

The computer science cluster is provided by PSSC labs and is called the Powerwolf cluster. It is housed at the McWherter Library Computer room (309). It consists of one master node and 8 compute nodes. The cluster has a lot of room to expand in the future and users are encouraged to contribute nodes. Contributed nodes would have guaranteed availability to the contributors. The specification of a qualified contributed node is determined by the department with a typical cost between $3000 and $4000.
Total CPU cores: 180 (160 for compute nodes); total memory: 640GB (512 GB for compute nodes); total disk space: 33.9TB. 

Earth Sciences:  PhaseOne IQ40 Digital Back for digital integration of Hasselblad V system camera and lenses

The PhaseOne IQ140 digital back is used with a medium format camera (Hasselblad V system) to take high resolution images. The digital back's 50MP (8272 x 6200 pixels) CMOS (complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor) sensor is twice the size of a full frame 35mm digital single lens reflex sensor, which means the information capture is twice that of a conventional 35mm sensor. The digital back captures 65MB on average in RAW format. The camera system, including various lenses (50mm, 80mm, and 120mm) and the digital back, will be used to photograph archaeological, geographical, and geological landscapes and sites, as well as artifacts, cores, and various specimens. Additional information can be found at this link.

Physics:  Time-resolved single photon counting and low temperature photoluminescence systems

The TCSPC system includes two very sensitive detectors (PDM photodiodes with 30 ps time resolution, single photon sensitivity), a reference photodiode (TDA 200), and an electronic timing box (Picoharp 300, 4 ps time resolution).This TCSP system offers a powerful capability to the optical study of the broad areas of physics, materials science, chemistry, and biology. Read additional information about this instrument.