No annual report


Proposal ID 2015-095
Submitted April 22, 2015
Owner andykimstf
Department Chemical Engineering
Category Machinery & Research
Funding Status Not Funded
Metric Score 3.16


  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Andy Kim
  • Berg Endowed Lecturer and Bindra Innovation Lab Manager
  • 206-543-8786
  • Box 351750
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Debbie Carnes c/o François Baneyx
  • Administrator
  • 206-543-2250
  • Box 351750
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Michael B. Bragg
  • Dean of Engineering
  • 206-543-1829
  • Box 352180



The role of chemical engineers today has moved beyond the development of large-scale chemical plants and process design. Many chemical engineers are involved with design of innovative products and technologies spanning a range of scientific and engineering disciplines. Examples include the development of polymeric formulations for coatings, controlled-release pharmaceuticals, biosensors, advanced batteries, and solar cells. The function of these engineered materials relies on their composition and structure. The student researcher needs the proper tools to characterize composition and structure in order to understand the state of the art and guide future innovation. This proposal, co-written by David Galvan, Chemical Engineering graduate student, and Andy Kim, Bindra Innovation Lab Manager, seeks to expand availability of Raman spectroscopic microscopy for learning and product design. If funded, the Raman microscope will be housed in the new Bindra Innovation Lab which has a tri-fold mission of laboratory teaching, device/material prototyping, and basic research. The Bindra Lab provides new space for polymer science and instrumentation labs, senior capstone design, and undergraduate/graduate research. Addition of the Raman microscope would greatly expand the number of students exposed to this commercially important chemical mapping technology. Students will learn how to use the method in a hands-on, instructor-led environment. Students will be able to quickly characterize the novel materials they create, ranging from conductive 3D printing materials to non-fouling biocoatings. Students outside Chemical Engineering will also be able to learn and use the instrument. The Raman microscope will thus provide a large number of students with a valuable, practical technique for their research and future careers. This proposal is a re-submission of 2015-012 (cost has been reduced as much as possible and Department contribution has been increased).

Category Justification

This instrument will be primarily used for the quantification and surface mapping of chemical composition of novel materials and devices. The acquisition of the Raman microscope will help bring the resources currently lacking in the Bindra Innovation Lab full circle, providing students with a critical analytical tool, easily accessible and located in a combined teaching and research space.


Raman spectroscopy was first experimentally observed in 1928 by Sir C.V. Raman, who later received the 1930 Nobel Prize for his work. This analytical tool relies on the interactions of the vibrational modes in a molecule and the oscillating electric field of light. Thus, in addition to the practical application of this technique, students will also gain a valuable, theoretical understanding of this process. Raman spectroscopy allows the user to take a two-dimensional image of a material or device where the image represents a specific chemical functional group (Raman shift) and the pixel value (scattering intensity) indicates concentration. Maps of different functional groups can be overlaid to analyze spatial distribution. The advent of confocal Raman spectroscopy in the early 1990's made it possible to perform three-dimensional chemical mapping. While there are confocal Raman microscopes at MAF and in a couple research groups, these instruments are geared towards research only and are not easily accessible, especially by undergraduate students. The opportunities for students to learn this method are therefore limited. The proposed Raman microscope is the result of 25 years development to provide a point-and-shoot, low maintenance spectroscopic microscope. Little or no sample preparation is needed. The confocal Raman microscope is now in wide use by industry and government agencies (e.g., medical coatings, forensics, drug formulation, and fine chemicals). Students will benefit from hands-on learning the method of Raman microscopy, applying it in solving problems, and gaining experience with industry-relevant instrumentation.

Benefits to Students and the University

Inclusion of the Raman microscope into the Bindra Lab will have broad implications for both students and the University as a whole. Four chemical engineering laboratory classes (up to 120 students per year) will have the opportunity to learn and use the Raman microscope. Capstone design students (approximately 16 per year) will also be able to use the microscope for entrepreneurial and innovation projects. Undergraduate and graduate students across the University may also it for their individualized education and research training program.
A key tenet of the Bindra Innovation Lab is to provide students a dedicated workspace and tools for innovation and discovery. Data collected during class or capstone design is owned entirely by the student, providing a high degree of freedom for participation in entrepreneurial projects. Existing tools for 3D printing, laser cutting, rheology of liquids and gels, nano-particle size and surface charge characterization, and determination of melt/glass transition of polymers, provide a framework for development of structured materials and devices. The Raman microscope brings 3D chemical mapping to the toolkit, greatly enhancing the Bindra Lab capabilities and increasing the likelihood of the student making a value-added discovery.

Departmental Endorsements

Dear Selection Committee,
The Department of Chemical Engineering strongly endorses Dr. Kim’s proposal for the acquisition of a Raman Microscope for Learning and Innovation. This tool will bring an unparalleled ability to characterize the new materials and products synthesized or fabricated by undergraduate and graduate student teams involved in our entrepreneurial capstone design course. It will be a key instrument in the new undergraduate-level polymer laboratory course developed by Prof. DeForest, the new M.S. level Instrumentation course developed by Prof. Yu, and the existing Colloids and Interface laboratory class that forms the cornerstone of our recently established Nanoscale and Molecular Engineering undergraduate option. Finally, it will enable the research activities of many graduate students both within and outside the department.
The generosity of our alumni makes the acquisition of a Raman microscope particularly timely. The instrument will be housed in the Jagjeet and Janice Bindra Innovation Laboratory (a multi-use teaching, prototyping and shared user facility which will be inaugurated in January), and it will be maintained by Dr. Andy Kim who was recruited in the Fall of 2014 as the John C. Berg Endowed Lecturer.
To demonstrate its commitment, the department of Chemical Engineering pledges $10,000 towards the purchase of the Raman microscope.
François Baneyx
Department Chair and Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor
Chemical Engineering, Box 351750
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1750
Ph: 206-685-7659
Fax: 206-685-3451

I created and teach the ChemE Innovation Program. It now educates 25% of each senior class as their required capstone project, and it also trains 25% of each Ph.D. class to be educators in a project-based learning curriculum focused on innovation. We partner with the Foster B-School Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and the Engineering Schools Center for Engineering Teaching and Learning to make sure it is a rich learning experience. This instrument will be heavily used by our seniors and graduate students. It is exactly the kind of state-of-art instrument we need to get into the hands of our undergrads and grad students, and is usually just seen in advanced researcher or industry settings. The Raman microscope is part of the Bindra Innovation Lab, and all intellectual property generated by undergrad student projects that are conceived and executed in the Bindra Lab, will be owned by the students.

dts — January 14, 2015 @ 9:47 a.m.

Dear Evaluation Committee:
A Raman microscope facility would of great value to the Surface and Colloid Science Laboratory (Chem E 455), a required course of all Chemical Engineering undergraduates. It would in particular be useful for the analysis of multi-component adsorption at solid/liquid interfaces, and its availability would result in my construction of a new experimental module for the course.
John Berg
Rehnberg Professor of Chemical Engineering
Dear STF Selection Committee:
I strongly endorse the STF proposal to purchase a Raman Microscope. Such instrumentation will have many potential applications in my own research. For example, Alaina Floyd (Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student) is working on microspheres to deliver chemotherapeutic agents for glioma (brain cancer) therapy). The ability to examine individual microsphere and look at both the polymer composition and the loaded drug will greatly aid in characterizing and optimizing this system. In another project we synthesize porous scaffolds for tissue engineering with a specific pore structure in the micron size range. To extract detailed chemical information with micron-scale resolution will allow us to accurately characterize these scaffolds at the micro scale, in contrast to present “average” characterization where we look at large areas of the scaffold. Since living cells interact with the scaffold at the micron scale, characterization should be at the micron scale.
In addition to research applications, I teach a course “Introduction of Surface Analysis” at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Though Raman microscopy is not a surface analysis method, Raman microscopy can be used for the examination of molecularly thin films and also can be coupled with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to give true surface analysis. Thus, I will introduce the microscope in our classroom discussions and also give the students a demonstration of the microscope.
The addition of the Raman microscope can make a strong contribution to both research and teaching in the department. I enthusiastically endorse this proposal.
Buddy D. Ratner, Ph.D.
Director, University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB)
Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization
Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering
University of Washington
Box 355061
N330J William H. Foege Building
3720 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98195 USA
ph: 206-685-1005
Fax: 206-616-9763
Dear Selection Committee:
I am currently developing a laboratory-based course in Polymer Chemistry that will be first offered to the Chemical Engineering undergraduates in Spring 2015 (~20 students). The requested Raman microscope would open up exciting new possibilities for experiments involving spectroscopic analysis, enabling invaluable yet otherwise unavailable techniques to be taught in this upcoming course. Additionally, I expect that many graduate student researchers within the greater University would benefit from such a tool, including those within my group.
Cole A. DeForest, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine
University of Washington
Dear Evaluation Committee,
I am teaching a new laboratory-oriented class, Advanced Chemical Engineering Laboratory (CHE 514), designed for students in the Master of Science of Chemical Engineering program. The Raman Microspectroscope instrument would be of great value to this class in order to introduce the knowledge and to gain hands-on experience on molecular-level characterization and analysis of new materials and chemical and biological processes. A specific module will be developed to identify microorganisms and investigate their response to antimicrobial agents using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) by the integration of nanotechnology with Raman microspectroscopy. In addition, this instrument will also be used by graduate students and undergraduate students in my group to carry out research on SERS for chemical and biosensing applications as well as to characterize new semiconductor materials we synthesized and to analyze photovoltaic devices and photodetectors.
Qiuming Yu
Research Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1750
Phone: (206)543-4807
Fax: (206)685-3451

Installation Timeline

The instrument would be ordered immediately upon funding and is expected to ship within 4 weeks. Installation would occur within 5 weeks of shipping.

Resources Provided by Department

This proposal is requesting $95,017 funding by the Student Technology Fee. The Department of Chemical Engineering and the College of Engineering will provide support of $30,000 for purchase of necessary components (motorized stage and SW, 50X objective), computer, monitors, and liquid sampling accessory. The Department will provide the space, utilities, and personnel. The Raman microscope will be located in the Bindra Innovation Lab on the main floor of Benson Hall and will be maintained by Andy Kim, Bindra Lab Manager. Training will be provided by Prof. Qiuming Yu, Andy Kim, or designate. Consumables for operating the microscope are minimal and will be provided by the Department. Lasers are expected to last two to four years. Instrument usage will be tracked by individual and research group, and the cost for laser replacement, when needed, will be covered by major users’ research groups and the Department. The standard warranty of the instrument is one year. Extended warranty and University insurance are too expensive or have too high deductible, therefore beyond one year the microscope will be "self-insured" by the Department and Bindra Lab.

Access Restrictions (if any)

24/7 access to the Bindra Lab and Raman microscope is an option for students who sign out a building key (standard building access is 6:30am to 7:30pm). Students who successfully complete training and lab orientation will be given key card access to the Bindra Lab and will be able to schedule microscope time using the Google scheduling calendar. Training is included as part of laboratory classes but will also be available at least once per quarter for students unable to take the lab. The Bindra Lab website will provide general information about the microscope, training schedule, and key contacts. If scheduling instrument time becomes difficult due to high demand, priority will be given in the following order: Chem E teaching and capstone design, Chem E research, College of Engineering, outside College of Engineering.

Student Endorsements

Dear Committee Members,
I would like to voice my support for the proposed Raman microscope. Currently, I am a second-year graduate student in Dr. Qiuming Yu’s group. Our lab studies plasmonic devices for biosensing and solar cell applications. The addition of this tool would be particularly valuable to my research project. We investigate the use of novel nanostructured devices for pathogenic bacteria detection and antibiotic susceptibility. We currently use the Raman microscope located in the NTUF. Although this tool gives good data, the time it takes to collect this data can be lengthy. The DXR Raman microscope would allow for quicker data acquisition. I also believe it will be invaluable to undergraduate researchers from both a practical and theoretical standpoint. This is a powerful analytical technique that is not typically taught to undergraduates, and adding this technique to their repertoire will make them more competitive with other chemical engineering graduates.
David Galvan
Yu Research Group
Department of Chemical Engineering
Raman spectroscopy is a contact-free analytical technique for material characterization. It can be used for the analysis of biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical samples. In addition, Raman spectroscopy can be used for the chemical and physical characterization of semiconductors, gems, catalysts, minerals, polymers, and several other materials. As a graduate student, I think Raman spectroscopy is a very useful, efficient characterization method, which cannot be replaced by other techniques. Students doing the researches in different areas would all greatly benefit from this technique. Especially, the hottest research areas such as solar cells, biosensors, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and graphene based material all require the using of Raman.
Fang Sun
Jiang Research
Department of Chemical Engineering
As an undergrad researcher in the Yu Group, having access to another Raman spectroscope would greatly enhance our senior design team's experience. Our productivity to test our SERS product would noticeably increase. We would also gain hands on experience with the equipment which would otherwise not be possible.
Jason Smith
Chemical Engineering ‘15
As being in the senior special design team working on the bio-sensor, a new Raman spectroscope would provide great benefit for us as well as for other students. For the bio-sensor project, we design the device based on the result from Raman spectroscope because that's how we can tell whether our device capture the bacteria successfully or not. This new Raman spectroscope could help us improving the efficiency of working on this project.
Yajie Zhu
Chemical Engineering ‘15
One of the most exciting things in college is the wide range of tools that students have access to. These tools help us with either conducting research or with help us in getting our hands onto the experiments we learn about in our textbooks. Unfortunately in our beloved Benson hall we lack access to a Raman Spectroscopy device. The device is extremely helpful for both Graduate and Undergraduate students. It will be a big boost to our Graduate students as it can be used for all kinds of different fields, which will help them perfect their research. Also, it could be used in some of our courses which would be an exciting prospect.
Abdulrahman Almutairi
Chemical Engineering ‘15
A Raman Spectroscope would be hugely beneficial for the Bindra Innovation Lab. Spectroscopy is a growing field, and letting students have hands on access to it would widen our educational horizons and give us a realistic perspective on what would normally be theoretical science.
Hannah Morgan
Chemical Engineering ‘15


Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
Confocal Raman Microscope

ThermoFisher DXR Microscope mainframe

$59,570.00 1 $59,570.00

FDA/CDRH Class I laser safe system, Spectrometer mainframe, Optical/Raman microscope, Automated confocal aperture, Laser Power Control System to regulate power at sample, Automated laser attenuation, Automated alignment tool that includes all calibration standards, Automated calibration (wavelength, Raman intensity and laser), Proprietary automated alignment (visual, excitation laser and Raman scatter beam paths precisely aligned to the same sampling position), OMNIC™ Standard Software Suite

Quote from ThermoFisher.


Mainframe of proposed instrument

Trinocular viewer

$8,774.00 1 $8,774.00

SB video camera and cable, 10x eyepieces with reticule, Phototube to attach video camera

Quote from ThermoFisher


Instrument optics and camera

Brightfield/darkfield illuminator kit 110V

$10,450.00 1 $10,450.00

For use in regions with 110V line voltage

Quote from ThermoFisher


Instrument optics

780 nm (near IR) Excitation Laser Set

$16,223.00 1 $16,223.00

780 nm NIR Laser Module, Single transverse mode, high brightness diode laser, Delivers 24 mW at sample, Standard resolution grating for 780 nm laser 5 cm-1 nominal resolution (FWHM), Nominal spectral range 50 - 3300 cm-1, 50 cm-1 Rayleigh Rejection Filter for 780 nm (Stokes shift)

Quote from ThermoFisher


Instrument light source

Total requested: $95,017.00

Total funded: $0.00


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