The Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Laboratory was founded in 2005 with the construction of the Kim Engineering Building and the creation of the Maryland NanoCenter. It evolved from the Microscopy and Microanalysis Center (MMC) in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland. The MMC provided training of new users on analytical and structural characterization techniques using transmission and/or scanning electron microscopy.
The AIMlab has developed into a collaborative effort by multiple departments within the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the College of Computer, Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The laboratory provides service and training in the areas of structural and compositional characterization of materials using electron microscopy to students and faculty of the University of Maryland and universities in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area including DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Today, the AIMLab is operated as a shared experimental facility by the Maryland NanoCenter.
The equipment in the laboratory is dedicated to the characterization of the structure and composition of a broad spectrum of hard and soft materials and biological systems with nanometer resolution. These capabilities are used for research, and the teaching and training of students. The research performed in the laboratory is focused on the characterization of materials and structures in the areas of biomaterials, multifunctional and smart materials, nanostructured materials, nanodevices and geological materials.
The AIMLab has a wide array of electron microscopy equipment, giving NanoCenter users many options to image and characterize their research samples.