CERC Facilities and Equipment

The CERC program constructed facilities essential to its research goals, adding new and unique instruments as well as leveraging the existing infrastructure of collaborators. The state-of-the-art 500 m2 CERC lab space in the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building houses unique equipment and acts as a fully functioning wet and analytical lab space, and a high-tech workroom for creative ideation.

Coreflood Rigs Setup

Coreflood Rigs

  • Extreme Reservoir Condition
  • Major apparatus included in the CERC lab space is two state-of-the-art coreflooding rigs dedicated to observing the effects of nanoparticles and other advanced materials on fluid flow and transport in porous media under real world conditions.
  • The coreflood rigs have advanced capabilities that allow injection of fluids, nanoparticles and chemicals into a variety of porous materials at a wide range of reservoir conditions, including steam (300° C, 15 MPa).
  • Each of these instruments is run by a dedicated and highly trained technician who supports the CERC core team members and trainees with their exponentially increasing demands on these instruments.
Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope

  • Leica SP8X
  • In collaborator lab space at the SchulichSchool of Engineering, a unique-in-Canada Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope is housed, which is uniquely suited to image the dynamics of complex fluids while applying external fields.
  • Combined with purpose-built devices (rheometer) for flow in geometries ranging from single channels to porous media, this infrastructure is a uniquely powerful multiscale/multimode platform for understanding the real-time dynamics of complex nanostructured fluids at sub-millimeter length scales


  • 8900 Triple quadrupole
  • With only three in Canada, this ground-breaking instrument transforms the ICP-MS landscape.
  • This instrument is capable of characterizing nanoparticles in complex fluids at low concentration levels and small size distribution.
  • We have integrated the ICP-QQQ with a LC//MS/MS and GC-MS to create one of the best systems in Canada for detection analysis.
  • In the hands of the experienced research scientist hired to operate it, this system is capable of measuring concentrations in a tremendous array of materials with parts per trillion resolution.
  • Thus it has become an essential tool for nearly every CERC research project.
Photonic Force Microscope

Photonic Force Microscope

• PFM - Nano Tracker 2
• Advanced microscopy capabilities unique in Canada, the Photonic Force Microscope - NanoTracker2 is housed in a collaborator space in the Microscopy and Imaging Facility at the Cumming School of Medicine, and has broad applicability from medicine to nanostructure fluids.

Additional equipment

  • Provides fast and accurate physical separation and mass analysis of multiple components in a mixture.
  • Ultrafast MRM transition speed, up to 555 MRMs per second, Ultrafast polarity switching (15 msec), and Ultrafast scan speed (15,000 u/sec).
  • Application includes proteomics, drug development, the analysis of food, pesticides, and plant phenols.
  • The single quadrupole GCMS-QP2010SE is compatible with column flows up to 4 mL/minute (He), has pre-rods to reduce contamination of the mass filter, scan at speeds up to 10,000 u/second, and includes three operation modes: scan, SIM, and scan/SIM.
  • Applications include Volatile Organic Compounds Analysis, Environmental, Food and Chemical Analysis, and Polymer Materials Analysis.
  • Suitable for a huge variety of applications, from prototypes to customized tools.
  • Supports a wide range of filament materials including PLA, ABS, CPE, CPE+, PC, Nylon, and TPU 95A.
  • Build volume: 223 x 223 x 305 mm; Build speed: Up to 24 mm³/s; Layer resolution: from 600 micron to 20 micron.
  • Measures density, specific gravity, API (petroleum), BRIX (sugar), alcohol concentrations and other density related values by the One Click™ user interface.
  • Automatic bubble detection for error-free sampling.
  • Viscosity correction for viscous samples.
  • Precise oscillating U-tube coupled with spot-on Peltier temperature control for exact measurements.
  • LabX® density software manages data, instruments, and users while bringing your tasks directly to the instrument’s touch screen.
  • Determines static and dynamic surface and interfacial tensions of liquids and of the critical micelle forming concentration using Modified Washburn Method, Wilhelmy Plate Method or Du Noüy Ring Method.
  • The DCAT 21 consists of a high performance electro-dynamic compensation balance (0.1 mg – 210 g ± 0.01 mg) with auto calibration function and enables a measuring range of 1 – 1000 mN/m; ± 0.001 mN/m.
  • Provides superior quantitative and qualitative information for routine analysis of solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Interchangeable sampling accessories snap in and out in seconds including standard transmission, DialPath, and Diamond ATR.
  • Engraves many materials including wood, plastic, acrylic, fabrics, glass, laminates, leather, paper, stone and textiles.
  • Easy-to-use JobControl® laser software.
  • 610 x 305 mm working area.
  • Measures a petroleum product’s tendency to thermally degrade and form coke under high temperature pyrolyzing conditions.
  • Processes up to 12 sample simultaneously with sample sizes from 0.1 to 2 grams.
  • Performs routine analysis for carbon residue from 0.1% to over 30% with a temperature range from ambient to 775 degrees Celsius.
  • Offers working pressures to 5000 psi (345 bar) at temperatures to 350 °C.
  • The volume can be interchanged with 600 and 1200 mL.
  • Equipped with a magnetic drive to provide a Max 700 RPM stirring speed.
  • Offers versatile options to modify surfaces or to bond materials together.
  • The applications include precision cleaning of contaminated components, the plasma activation of plastic parts, etching of PTFE, silicon and coating of plastic parts with PTFE-like films.
  • Round 5L vacuum chamber (approx. ∅130 mm, L 300 mm, D 320 mm).
  • Delivers smoother and flatter samples in an all-in-one system. Covers all your grinding or polishing needs.
  • A touch-screen keypad allows you to select between pre-determined methods. Step-by-step applications guide you through the entire process.
  • The GPX fluid dispenser holds up to 4 bottles with peristaltic operation, flush, and stirring capabilities to ensure proper dispensing of slurries.
  • Measures almost any sample with a very high accuracy of up to five decimal places.
  • Measurements were performed with simple operation and an intuitive touch screen user interface.
  • Your results can be exported to a USB printer, USB stick, PC software, LIMS, ERP or SAP.
  • Uses state-of-the-art centrifugation, vacuum and heat technologies for removing solvents and concentrating samples while maintaining sample integrity.
  • Solvents are removed from samples during vacuum evaporation and are passed into a Glass Condensation Flask.
  • Measures interfacial tension with a high degree of accuracy and a particularly wide measuring range of 10-6 to 2000 mN/m.
  • The drop shape is evaluated by Vonnegut or Young-Laplace method.
  • Provides the ideal solution for the research of emulsions, surfactants, Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and pharmaceutical branch.
  • Produces accurate and repeatable surface area and pore volume results.
  • Surface area is determined by single-point and multipoint BET and Langmuir methods.
  • It provides capability to measure the complete adsorption-desorption isotherm, determines total micropore volume using the t-plot method and performs pore size distribution measurements by BJH or DH using up to 1000 data points.
  • Applications include the research of alloys, abrasives, carbonates, carbons, catalysts, clays, cosmetics, detergents, fertilizers, films, food additives, glass, graphite, metal powders, minerals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, resins, soils and sediments. 
  • Measures optical contact angle of multiple test liquids and the surface energy of the solid.
  • Helps develop surface coatings, composite materials, paints and varnishes or cleaning agents.
  • Conducts a thermal analysis in which the mass of a sample is measured over time as the temperature changes.
  • The applications include Compositional Analysis, Verification of Thermal Events, Volatiles Analysis, and Moisture Content & Thermal Stability of a Pharmaceutical Material.
  • The temperature range is Ambient to 1000 °C. Heating Rate is 0.1 to 100 °C/min. Sample Weight Capacity is 1000 mg.
  • Combines fiber optics with CCD array detection and a Xenon flash lamp. A full spectrum scan is performed within just 1 second.
  • Wavelength range: 190 nm - 1,100 nm.
  • Performs fast and easy viscosity measurements with spindles.
  • Displayed info includes: viscosity (cP/mP·s), temperature (°C/°F), shear rate/stress, % torque, spindle/speed, step program status.
  • A powerful measurement system to be used for magnetic sample characterization.
  • With a temperature range of 50 – 400K, this 3 tesla platform is perfect for accomplishing magnetic, thermal and electrical measurements.
  • VSP-300 is a versatile instrument that offers 6 slots used to host from 1 to 6 channel boards.
  • Provides ±12 V compliance, ±10 V reference control, and a maximum current of ±500 mA.
  • The applications include batteries/supercapacitors, fuel cells/photovoltaic cells, fundamental electrochemistry, corrosion, sensors and materials.
  • Choose from standard contrasting techniques, including DIC and Plas DIC, to investigate your samples.
  • Fast Imaging with 5x, 20x and 63x objectives.
  • Uses ZEN imaging software.
  • The NanoPlus HD is a unique instrument that utilizes photon correlation spectroscopy and electrophoretic light scattering techniques to determine particle size, zeta potential, and molecular weight.
  • Measures particle size and zeta potential of a sample suspension in the range of 0.1 nm to 12.30 um and -500 mV to +500 mV, respectively, with sample suspension concentrations from 0.00001% to 40%.

The applications include:

  • Colloidal solution stability in liposome and monoclonal antibody development;
  • Quantitative determination of oral and injectable suspension stability;
  • Pharmacokinetic drug delivery studies of nano-emulsions;
  • Pigment and ink characterization;
  • Qualitative and quantitative assessments of nano-cosmetics;
  • Cosmetic slip casting evaluation and chemical dosing for colloidal stability