The Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI) laboratory, a 4,000 square foot, 24/7 facility, in Kimball Hall is designed to support soft matter research and sustainable energy solutions that support the mission of the institute. The laboratory is available on a fee-for-service basis to anyone, with priority given to CESI stakeholders.  Individuals may access the lab and its equipment, taking new material from concept to prototype.  The lab boasts unique capabilities for materials synthesis, physical characterization, material structure-property-processing analysis, and energy storage studies. The CESI laboratory also includes a variety of analytical instruments for evaluating materials, devices, and systems in applications including carbon capture and conversion, electrochemical energy storage in batteries & fuel cells, photonic and photovoltaics and hydrogels for biomedicine and drug delivery.  The open lab encourages partnerships internal to Cornell and between companies and the university.

Testing service is available at CESI laboratory, external users may send samples to the facility and have them tested by lab staff.

For more information, please contact the lab manager:  cesi-lab@cornell.edu 

Available at CESI:

Thermoanalysis: TGA


Manufacturer: TA Instrument
Model: Q500
Temperature range – Ambient to 1000 °C,
Controlled heating rate - 0.01 to 100 °C/min
Isothermal Accuracy - +/- 1 °C
Isothermal Precision - +/- 0.1 °C
16 Position Autosampler available
Applications: Thermogravimetric analysis

Thermoanalysis: DSC

Manufacturer: TA Instrument
Model: Q2000
Temperature range – -180 to 725 °C,
Controlled heating rate - 0.01 to 100 °C/min
Temperature Accuracy - +/- 0.1 °C
Temperature Precision - +/- 0.01 °C
Calorimetric Reproducibility - +/- 0.05 %
Calorimetric Precision - +/- 0.05 %
Sensitivity – 0.2 mW
50 Position Autosampler available
Applications: Differential Scanning Calorimeters analysis, Melting points and glass transition temperatures for polymers, oxidative stability

Materials Characterization: SAXS


Manufacturer: Anton Paar
Model: SAXSess mc2
X-ray source: Long-fine focus (LLF) sealed copper tube with line and pint focus (40 kV/50 mA, l = 0.1542 nm)
Detector: image plate
Q-rang: 0.04 to 28 nm-1
Refillable quartz capillary for liquids
Sample holder for solids
Film holder with screws
Applications: Particle size distribution

Materials Characterization: Rheometers

MRC 301
MRC 301
MRC 501
MRC 501

Manufacturer: Anton Paar
Model: MCR 301, MCR 501
Specifications: see chart
Applications: Polymer characterization, viscosity, etc.


Materials Characterization: BET


Manufacturer: Micromeritics
Model: ASAP 2460
Range - 0 to 950 mmHg
Resolution - 0.001 mmHg
Accuracy - ±0.1% Full Scale
Applications: Analyze surface area and porosity of materials based on Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory


Manufacturer: Micromeritics
Model: ASAP 2020
Range - 0 to 950 mmHg
Resolution - 0.1 mmHg
Accuracy - > 0.05% of reading
Applications: Analyze surface area and porosity of materials based on Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory


Materials Characterization: FTIR

Manufacturer: Thermo Scientific
Model: Nicolet iz10
• Spectral range:
– 7800–350 cm-1 optimized, mid-infrared KBr beamsplitter
– 11000–375 cm-1 XT KBr extended range mid-infrared optics
• Signal-to-noise: 1 minute: 50,000:1 (peak to peak)
• Wavenumber precision: 0.0008 cm-1 at 2000 cm-1
• Wavenumber accuracy: 0.02 cm-1 at 2000 cm-1
• Collection speed: variable from 0.16 cm/sec to 2.5 cm/sec; suitable to slow responsivity (PAS) and high-sensitivity (MCT) detectors
• Maximum speed: 40 spectra per second at 16 cm-1 resolution, individually collected and stored
• Spectral resolution: better than 0.4 cm-1
• Ordinate linearity (ASTM E1421): Applications: Organic compounds characterization

Materials Characterization: Zetasizer


Manufacturer: Malvern Panalytical
Model: zs90
Specifications: see chart


Materials Characterization: Plate Reader

Plate reader

Model: M2 Microplate Readers
Specifications: see chart

specificationsadditional specifications

Materials Characterization: QCM-D


Manufacturer: Biolin Scientific
Model: Qsense E1 with flow module
Specifications: see chart


Materials Characterization: Contact Angle Tester

Contact Angler Tester

Manufacturer: Biolin Scientific
Model: Theta Lite
Specifications: see chart
Applications: Measure contact angle, which can be used to study the roughness of materials.

Measuring range (°, mN/m)

0 - 180, 0.01 - 2000

Accuracy (°, mN/m)

±0.1, ±0.01

Maximum sample size (mm)

Unlimited×45×200 (with stage)

Maximum resolution (px)


Maximum measuring speed (fps)


Frame interval

0.48ms - 1000 s


USB 3.0 digital camera

Light source

LED based background lighting

Field of view (Ø, mm)

2.9 - 12 

Dimensions — Basic frame (L×W×H, cm)


Weight — Basic frame (kg)


Power supply (VAC)

100 - 240

Frequency (Hz)

50 - 60

Materials Characterization: Karl Fischer Titrator

Karl Fischer Titrator

Manufacturer: METTLER TOLEDO
Model: C20
Measurement range: 1 ppm to 5%
Temperature range: 5 to 40 °C
Applications: Water content determination

Electrochemistry and Battery Research: Dielectric Spectrometer

Dielectric Spectrometer

Manufacturer: Novocontrol
Model: Concept system with Alpha-a and RF analyzer
Temperature controlled from -160 to 500 °C. 
Alpha Analyzer frequency range from 10 mHz to 20MHz,
RF Analyzer frequency range from 10MHz to 3GHz
Applications: Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, conductivity, etc.

Electrochemistry and Battery Research: MACCOR Battery Test System


Manufacturer: MACCOR
Model: Battery test systems
Four Current Ranges: 150 µA, 5 mA, 150 mA, 5 A,
Testing modes: Constant Current, Constant Voltage, Constant Power, Constant Resistance, Voltage Scan (Cyclic Voltametry)
40 channels
Applications: Battery performances test; Electrochemical studies.

Electrochemistry and Battery Research: Solartron Cell Test System

Solartron Cell Test System

Manufacturer: Solartron Analytical
Model: 1470E
Voltage range: -3 V to 10 V
Auto-range or manually selected: 50 µA, 500 µA, 5 mA, 50 mA, 500 mA, 5 A
Testing modes: Constant Current, Constant Voltage, Constant Power, Constant Resistance, Voltage Scan (Cyclic Voltametry), impedance
8 channels
Applications: Battery performances test; Electrochemical studies


Materials Preparation: Plasma System

Plasma System

Manufacturer: PLASMA ETCH
Model: PE-50 series plasma system
RF power: 0-100 watts @ 20-50 kHZ
Gas flow: 0-25 CCM O2
Applications: Plasma treatment

Materials Preparation: Water Purification System

Manufacturer: Millipore
Model: Rios5 and MilliQ
Rios 5 purifies tap water to Type 2 water, and MilliQ further purifies to 18.2 Mohm water
Applications: Water purification

Materials Preparation: Ultracentrifuge


Model: Optima L-90K
Maximum speed 90000 rpm
Temperature range 0 to 40 °C.
The instrument is equipped with Type 70 Ti rotor.
Onsite refrigerator is available
Applications: Biomedical sciences, materials preparation.

Materials Preparation: Freeze dryer

Freeze dryer

Manufacturer: SP SCIENTIFIC
Model: VirTis Benchtop Pro
Maximum 12 flasks
Lowest condenser temperature -55 °C.
Applications: Freeze drying

Materials Preparation: Freeze dryer

Freeze dryer II

Manufacturer: SP SCIENTIFIC
Model: VirTis Avantage 2.0
Flask tray or shelf drying available
Shelf temperature -55 to 60 °C.
Lowest condenser temperature -85 °C.
Applications: Freeze drying

Materials Characterization: Thin-Film Analyzer

Thin Film

Manufacturer: FILMETRICS
Model: F20
Thickness range of 15 nm – 70 mm
Wavelength range of 380-1050 nm
Silicon standard and SiO2 on Silicon are available for calibration.
Applications: Thin-film analysis

Materials Characterization: Thermal Diffusivity Tester

Thermal Diffusivity Tester
Manufacturer: LINSEIS
Model: XFA 500
Temperature range (Only Room Temperature)
Sample size  1" disc, less than 9mm thick
Measuring range lambda:  0.1 to 4000 W/(m∙K)
Pulse energy:  15 J/Pulse
Applications: Thermal Diffusivity determination

Materials Characterization: Viscometer


Manufacturer: Anton Paar
Model: ViscoQC 300 Low range
Viscosity  1 to 6 M mPa·s
Speed   0.01 to 250 rpm
Temperature range  15 °C to 80 °C
Concentric cylinder and spindle available for low volume samples
Applications: Viscosity measurements

Materials Characterization: Gas Chromatography

Gas Chromatography
Manufacturer: SRI Instrument
Model: Multiple Gas Analyzer #5
Thermal Conductivity Detector (TCD)
Flame Ionization Detector (FID)
Electron Capture Detector
Two 10-Port Gas Sampling Valves
.5 meter Hayesep D column
2 meter Hayesep D column
2 meter Moleseive 5A column
6 channel PeakSimple usb data system
Applications: CO2 capture, gas phase analysis

Materials Characterization: Mercury porosimeter


Manufacturer: Micromeritics
Model: Autopore IV 9500
1 high-pressure (33,000 psia maximum pressure) and 2 low-pressure
analysis ports
Pore diameters - 0.003 to 360 μm
Transducer Accuracy - ±0.1% Full Scale
Applications: Pore size, volume, distribution, density, and other porosity-related characteristics of a material.

Materials Characterization: Density & Sound Velocity Tester

Materials Characterization: Density & Sound Velocity Tester

Manufacturer: Anton Paar
Model: DSA 5000 M
Density    0 to 3 g/cm3
Sound velocity    1000 to 2000 m/s
Temperature range    0 °C to 100 °C (32 °F to 212 °F)
Pressure range    0 bar to 8 bar (0 psi to 116 psi)
Applications: Density test, concentration determination

Thermoanalysis: Nano ITC

Thermoanalysis: Nano ITC

Manufacturer: TA Intruments
Model: NanoITC
Specifications: see chart
Applications: Protein interactions, enzyme kinetics, binding affinity

Thermoanalysis: Nano ITC (table)

General Equipment