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SPID Research in ACS NanoSPID AFMSPID high resolution confocalSeeing at the NanoScale with NUANCE

SPID Research in ACS Nano

A research paper by Professor Vinayak Dravid and Dr. Gajendra Shekhawat, entitled "Thickness Resonance Acoustic Microscopy for Nanomechanical Sub-Surface Imaging," has been accepted for publication in ACS Nano. Co-authors of the paper are Dr. Oluwaseyi Balogun (Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern) and Arvind K. Srivastava of Systron Donner Inertial.

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Stress fibers generation across the Endothelial cell walls transfected with Thrombin. The image was generated using Peak Force Quantitative Mapping.

SPID high resolution confocal

High Resolution Confocal Images of S1P and thrombin differentially altered F-actin structure in human pulmonary endothelium cells (Lung Cells).

Seeing at the NanoScale with NUANCE

Professor David Ginger, University of Washington, speaks on the use of AFM for understanding the role of structural heterogeneity in photocurrent generation and loss in thin film solar cells.

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Scanned Probe Imaging and Development (SPID) facility


SPID was created to drive interdisciplinary research bridging the gap between hard nanostructures, soft materials, biological sciences, quantitative mechanical and electrical analysis and nanopatterning. SPID provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for atomic to molecular imaging. It supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology characterization needs at nanoscale by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff. Research at SPID encompasses physical and chemical sciences, engineering and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Every week, several new users coming from NU campuses, academia, industry, and government laboratories learn to use tools available in the center to carry out their research projects.

SPID Facility Introductory Video


The primary objective of our mission is to enhance the education, collaboration, research and outreach related to all aspects of scanning probe and nanopatterning instrumentation, techniques and applications. SPID is a shared user facility that supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology projects, specializing in nanoscale analysis and characterization.

SPID is a multi-user, multi-departmental facility offering continually updated state-of-the-art equipment to qualified researchers from any field and institution. SPID has a strong tradition of facilitating interdisciplinary research, and regular training sessions and short courses are offered by accomplished microscopists who manage the SPID facility, directed by Professor Vinayak P. Dravid and Dr. Gajendra Shekhawat.

Research and Societal Outreach

The primary focus of SPID is to provide both quantitative and qualitative scanning probe microscopy and biomaterials nanopatterning based highly advanced instrumentations to enable materials, nanopatterning and biomedical research by a diverse group of scientists, industries and clinicians representing numerous disciplines. SPID works in partnership with several industrial partners and specifically Bruker Metrology Surface Division to develop advanced instrumentation for quantitative analysis. SPID serves as a hub for numerous global partnerships both in terms of facility development and research. 

Local teachers, museums and members of the community are encouraged to join the NUANCE family through open house visits, demonstrations and presentations on how nanotechnology affects our daily lives. To schedule a tour for your group, please contact us.


SPID's main location is in Northwestern's Technological Institute, AG94 at 2145 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL. The facility is secured, so if you do not have facility access, please make an appointment with a staff member.

Further Questions

If you have further questions about the SPID facility, please contact: