Carnegie Mellon University

PPG Industries Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Laboratory

A unique part of the CPS Program is the PPG Industries Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces (CPS) Laboratory, which is used for instruction and as a central facility for research. The 2200 sq. ft. laboratory is an interdisciplinary facility that provides the capability for characterization of fine particles, macromolecules, interfaces and the complex fluids formed by combinations of these materials.

Lab courses in colloid and polymer characterization are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The hands-on laboratory experience is accomplished using more than 35 different experiments and demonstrations. CPS lab courses are offered every semester and have an average enrollment of 25-30 students per semester. CPS Lab personnel provide training for use of its facilities for about 50 students per year in addition to those formally enrolled in lab courses. These include undergraduate, MS and PhD students working on independent research projects representing most of the engineering and science departments at Carnegie Mellon.

Physical property measurement capabilities in the lab include surface and interfacial tension, particle sizing, contact angle, rheology, static and dynamic light scattering, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), UV-VIS spectrophotometry, mechanical property testing, conductivity, CMC determination, BET powder surface area and pore size, electrophoretic mobility of colloids and dynamic surface tension.

The laboratory is also used for STEM outreach events that provide hands-on science experiences for K-12 students and teachers to promote science and engineering education to youth and the public.

PPG Industries CPS Laboratory Facilities

Colloid and Surface Characterization Equipment

  •  Quantachrome NOVA Surface Area Analyzer (Gas Adsorption)
  •  Cenco-Du Nouy Tensiometer
  •  Rame-Hart Contact Angle Goniometer
  •  Adsorptive Bubble Fractionation Apparatus
  •  Coulter Particle Counter, Model Z2
  •  Thermo Fisher Conductivity Meter
  •  Krüss Bubble Pressure Tensiometer
  •  Milton-Roy Spectrophotometer
  •  Cary UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
  •  Malvern Zeta Sizer 3000
  •  Malvern Zeta Sizer Nano
  •  Hach Turbidity Meter
  •  Kibron Micro-tensiometer

Polymer Characterization Equipment

  •  Instron Tensile Tester
  •  Atlas Mini Molding Apparatus
  •  Brookhaven Dynamic and Static Light Scattering Apparatus
  •  Kinematic Viscosity Apparatus
  •  Bohlin Instruments Gemini Rheometer
  •  Brookfield Cone and Plate Viscometer
  •  Perkin-Elmer Differential Scanning Calorimeter
For details regarding consulting and equipment use contact:

Professor Annette Jacobson
CPS Program Director