Physical Sciences and Engineering Core Facilities

Find information below on core facilities for analysis in the physical sciences or in engineering. Interested researchers may also find relevant resources on our pages listing our other shared and national and affiliated laboratory facilities.

Central Shop

The Central Shop’s machinists build precision instruments for University scientists. Although housed in the Physical Sciences Division, the shop’s services are available to physicians and researchers campus-wide.

Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility - Searle

The Searle Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility is open to all UChicago researchers. The cleanroom houses a variety of deposition, etching, lithography and device characterization tools in Class 100/1000 space. In adjacent space are facilities for handling chemical and biological samples, and a soft lithography laboratory.

Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility - Pritzker

The Institute for Molecular Engineering includes the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility (PNF), an open-access, 10,000 square foot ISO Class 5 research cleanroom that provides advanced lithographic processing of hard and soft materials. The PNF is a state of the art cleanroom and nanofabrication facility, open to all researchers from UChicago and beyond.

Enrico Fermi Institute Electronic Shop

The EFI E-shop has two engineers and a technician to help researchers design, build and test electronic projects for their experiments.  Students working under a faculty member may work on research projects using state-of-the-art software, consult with the staff about design issues, and test designs with assorted equipment in the E-Shop.

Engineering and Technical Support Group

The Engineering and Technical Support Group (ETSG) strives to expand the boundaries of what is possible.The group is here to help you plan, design, build, and test apparatus for your groundbreaking research projects.


The FIB-SEM facility in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences features a TESCAN LYRA3 field-emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) with a focused ion beam (FIB). The instrument is capable of high resolution imaging, quantitative chemical analysis and mapping with x-ray detectors, crystallographic study with EBSD, and sample milling and liftout with the FIB. Staff offer training, operator-assisted and independent use of the instrument.

Graphic Arts

A full-service print shop and a professional design studio, with a staff of award-winning graphic designers well-versed in the latest technologies. Located in the John Crerar Library, Graphic Arts has been servicing the unique print and design needs of the University of Chicago since 1945 and is home to UChicago’s only digital printing press.

Mass Spectroscopy Facility

The Mass Spec Facility in the Department of Chemistry serves all campus users with 24/7 open access to both low-resolution and high-resolution molecular weight measurements and analyses. After consulting and training, users are able to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze organic, inorganic, and biological samples of gases, liquids, and solids by GC, GC/MS, GC/MS-MS, LC/MC, LC/MS-MS, MALDI/MS, MALDI/MS-MS.

The Chicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center hosts several shared facilities:


MRSEC Materials Prep & Measurement Lab

The MPML provides shared research facilities for sample fabrication, processing, patterning and characterization. Instrumentation includes Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM), an optical spectroscopy suite including a confocal Raman microscope, surface preparation and coating systems, thermal processing, and digital fabrication systems.

MRSEC Fast X-ray Imaging Facility

The heart of this facility is a state-of-the-art OrthoScan HD mini C-arm x-ray tomography system capable of video rate imaging.

MRSEC Rheometry Facility

This facility characterizes the stress/strain relationships and other rheological properties of complex fluids.

MRSEC Student Machine Shop

The shop gives MRSEC students the flexibility to easily design and safely produce machined parts and research prototypes.

MRSEC Quantum Transport Laboratory

The Quantum Transport Laboratory (QTL) maintains a Quantum Design Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS), allowing for characterization of the electrical, thermal, transport, optical, and magnetic properties of a variety of samples as a function of temperature and magnetic field.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

The NMR Facility in the Department of Chemistry serves the students, faculty, and staff across the departments of UChicago and affiliates, allowing users to obtain their own spectra.

Chicago Stable Isotope Ratio Facility

The CHiSIR facility measures the stable isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, including clumped isotopes in carbon dioxide, in a variety of bulk samples. Staff help users design experiments and sampling strategies, from using labelled material and following label incorporation to determining how much sample needs to be collected and what controls are required.

X-ray Research Facilities

The X-ray facilities in the Department of Chemistry consist of a small-molecule crystallography core and an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy core.