Workstation for Automated Nanomaterial Discovery and Analysis (WANDA)
WANDA is an automated robot for the synthesis of colloidal inorganic nanomaterials. WANDA features two liquid handling robot arms with heated and non-heated needles for dispensing and aspirating 10 µL-5 mL volumes into 200 µL – 40 mL reaction vials at rates of 20-1500 µL/s. Microplates with 6-96 vials can be heated and stirred in parallel from 30-120 °C in six on-deck microplate bays. 6-20 mL reactions in disposable glass vials can be heated at 30-325 °C and stirred independently with high precision in WANDA’s 8-reactor LTMR array with temperature ramp rates up to 40 °C/min. Aliquots can be sampled from reactions with 40 s duty cycles. Vials can be transported across the deck using the vial gripper tool and weighed in WANDA’s automated balance (0.00001 g precision). The entire system is enclosed in a nitrogen-filled glove box for air-free reactions. The glove box also includes a module for the manual preparation of precursors and a microplate-compatible centrifuge for manual and semi-automated purification of nanocrystals. Microplates of samples generated by WANDA can be characterized using the Biotek UV/Vis abs./PL plate reader, the NIRVANA NIR/Vis absorption plate reader, the Fluorolog Micromax PL and upconversion luminescence plate reader, the Bruker X-ray diffractometer, and the Horiba LabRAM Raman microscope.
HERMAN is a second generation robot for the synthesis of inorganic, organic, and hybrid nanomaterials. This Freeslate CM3 robot is housed in a nitrogen-filled triple glovebox and features automated solid dispensing (<1 mg precision), multichannel liquid dispensing with 6 disposable or 4 fixed tips (1 ml), and viscous liquid dispensing using positive displacement tips (e.g. Eppendorf CombiTips, 100 µl-20 ml). Up to 96 reactions can be performed in parallel using HERMAN’s heating/stirring bays (25-160 °C) or its vortexing bays. HERMAN has a prototype, custom high temperature microplate reactor that heat reactions up to 350 °C with magnetic stirring with the option of degassing reactions under vacuum. Water and oxygen are not allowed in this robot.
The Hamilton Microlab Nimbus4 robot is a general purpose liquid handling robot that features four independent liquid handling channels that can aspirate and dispense liquids with disposable 50, 300, and 1200 µl tips. Pipetting options include liquid level sensing and anti-drip control for both aqueous and organic solvents. The Nimbus is housed in a fume hood, and it features a microplate reactor (6-96 well plates) capable of performing aqueous and organic reactions at temperatures up to 95 °C with shaking up to 2500 rpm. Samples are exposed to air, and aqueous reactions are allowed on this robot.
Biotek Synergy 4 UV/Vis Absorption/Fluorescence Microplate Reader
This commercial microplate reader measures absorption spectra from 200-1000 nm and photoluminescence spectra from 250-800 nm, with typical acquisition times of 3 s/spectrum. The instrument has a high-intensity xenon flash lamp and a lower intensity tungsten lamp. Standard format microplates (including polypropylene and quartz plates) can be shaken and heated during runs. PL intensities can also be measured with filters on User-installable filter wheels. The instrument can perform time-resolved lifetime measurements (>10 microseconds) and kinetic acquisitions. Multiple types of acquisitions can be performed in a single run.
NIRVANA NIR/Vis Absorption Microplate Reader
This Foundry-built microplate reader measures absorption and reflectance spectra from 350-2500 nm. Liquid and solid samples in any format microplate or substrate can be used. Typical acquisition times are 1 s/spectrum.
Wyatt DynaPro II Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Plate Reader
This instrument can perform dynamic light scattering measurements on 96, 384, and 1536-well microplates (96 well plates are standard). Microplate temperature can be controlled from approximately 0-90°C (±1 °C). DLS measurements in this instrument can provide size distribution histograms for particles with hydrodynamic diameters from 0.5 to 1000 nm. The laser wavelength is 830 nm, and sample volumes range from 4 µl (min. for 1536 well plate) to 300 µl (max. for 96 well plate).