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What the Characterization Facility can do for customers from industry

The Characterization Facility is a central research facility residing in the University of Minnesota's College of (Physical) Science and Engineering. It further serves the health sciences and other bio-emphasis fields. Our work involves supporting and carrying out advanced research for both internal (to UMN) and external (industry/government/other academic) institutions.

Thus we offer a broad suite of high level instrumentation for the analysis of all categories of materials (hard/soft, in some cases liquids or in-liquid) and numerous biosystems (e.g., cells, viruses). Our staff has years of pertinent experience with the advanced methods required to deliver in-depth analysis and high-quality results for challenging-to-analyze samples. While we operate in the research-focused environment of the University, we have practical expertise for solving everyday analytical challenges, and have worked with many companies from a wide variety of industries.

Our staff offers high-level analytical methods to answer the more difficult investigative and research & development related questions for your materials and applications. Under confidentiality agreement, we can consult with you on the direction for the investigation and perform the work for you. We offer prompt turn-around time on analysis; however, please be aware that the more difficult the questions asked, the more time and staff resources required to come up with results. Methods specific to your samples may need to be developed, which can involve significant time and cost. We will not suggest methods that clearly are inappropriate to answer your questions; however, not all methods we try will work, which is the nature of more difficult-to-answer questions.

Note that our services differ significantly from those of a typical analytical contracting company which offers a ready-made suite of pat methods, often meaning fast turn-around time on high volumes of samples. However, for such needs we can train your staff on the operation of our instruments and help in the development of methods for more repetitive and routine analysis. Your trained staff can then work independently in your desired time frames, and if applicable can use the data generated at the University within the framework of your internal quality systems. However, while our instrumentation at the Characterization Facility is maintained to a high level of calibration and sensitivity, we cannot offer analysis under ISO or other formal quality regimes.

We look forward to working with you to solve your challenging materials analysis questions!