Central Instrumentation Facilities
IIT Gandhinagar campus on the banks of river Sabarmati has developed state-of-the-art research facilities for its multidisciplinary research in the field of Engineering, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, Cognitive Science etc. The research facilities are mainly put together as per the functional activities of the labs such as the Wet Lab for performing experiments which require wet conditions, Powder Lab which handles powders. Similarly, other labs like Analytical Instrument Lab, Biological Engineering Lab, Fire Research Lab, Materials Characterization Labs and Cognitive Science Labs etc. are equipped with related sophisticated instruments for the specific type of research. In addition, there is a Central Instrument Facility (CIF) which house high-end characterization and analytical instrumentations such as 500 MHz NMR, LC-MS, XRD, AFM, SEM, DLS, CD, Fluorescence, IR & UV-visible spectroscopy, HPLC etc. The different research Labs and Central Instrument Facility provide a platform to explore a wide range of independent as well as interdisciplinary research in various areas.
Cognitive Science Laboratory
The Cognitive Science laboratory consists of facilities that enable basic and advanced level research in cognitive psychology, affective computing, cognitive neuroscience, behavioural economics, and experimental philosophy. The facility consists of a collection of laboratories equipped with behavioural data collection cubicles, an eye tracker, a wireless physiology-based data acquisition system, virtual reality-based programming platform and will be supplemented in the future with a 256-channel EEG system.
There are currently three behavioural cubicles housing personal computers that can support behavioural data collection. The cubicles are partially sound-proof dark rooms with adjustable lighting. The computers have Matlab installed on them along with the Psychophysics Toolbox. These facilities are used by postgraduate students and faculty members for research on decision making, attention, agency etc. They also support E-Prime and other software such as Blitz3D. These labs are also used as private spaces for paper pencil tests and questionnaires that require an environment free of external interference.
Intelligent Affective Computing and Biometric Lab
Intelligent Affective Computing and Biometric Laboratory opens up a platform for wide range of interdisciplinary research in fields of Electrical Engineering, Cognitive Science and Biomedical Engineering. The laboratory facilities include Virtual Reality-based Programming Platform, namely, Vizard from WorldViz Inc. Vizard is a high level graphics toolkit for the development of high-performance graphics applications, scientific visualization, and games. The VR platform provides controlled and replicable experimental setups and allows manipulation of the environment that would be difficult or prohibitively expensive in the real world. Additionally, we have Wireless Physiology-based Data Acquisition System from Biopac Systems Inc. which is compatible with the Virtual Reality-based programming platform mentioned above. The Wireless Physiology-based Data Acquisition System facilitates the real time data acquisition of physiological signals, such as, heart beat, muscle twitching, sweating, skin temperature, etc. The wireless, wearable physiological monitoring device, noninvasively records high quality data and is the perfect tool for applications that demand greater degrees of subject freedom and advanced experimental design. Presently, we are using this device for biomedical applications, e.g., physiology-sensitive adaptive intelligent stroke rehabilitation and cognitive science applications, e.g., affective Human Computer Interaction for children with autism. We also have the facility of interacting with the computing world with the Eye Tracker from Arrington Inc. This allows to track real-time data of gaze, blinking, pupil dilation, etc. of the user. The analysis of parameters e.g., blinking, pupil dilation, fixations, etc. is significant for a variety of researches in areas of Biomedical engineering and Human Computer Interaction. While working with the virtual world human experience can be augmented by using Haptic Device. At our research lab we have the Haptic Device from SensAble Technologies which makes it possible for users to touch, feel and manipulate virtual objects. The tactile feedback provided by this device can be useful in biomedical applications.
Fuel Cell Systems Research Laboratory
This facility is equipped with a two-tier safety system to protect against accidental leakage of potentially hazardous gases such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and other hydrocarbons. Since fuel cell systems research involves the use (or production) of these gases, proper safety procedures as per accepted international standards of safety have been followed. The first tier of safety involves continuous ventilation at a controlled flow rate of fresh air intake and room air exhaust. In addition, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies were carried out to study the behavior of these gases in the event of a leakage under ventilated and non-ventilated conditions. Based on the results of these studies the intake and exhaust vents were sized and located. The intake and exhaust flow rates have been designed to be varied between 2000-5000 CFM (55-140 m3/minute) according to the usage. A second tier of safety consists of gas detectors deployed at strategic locations (aided by the CFD models) to detect accidental leakage of particular gases. These detectors are linked to an embedded controller-based data acquisition system that continuously monitors output from multiple detectors. If the concentration of any gas crosses a preset threshold, the controller either activates an audio-visual alarm or increases the fresh air and/or exhaust air flow rates in the ventilation system or shuts off supply of specific gases. It is expected that with this safety system in place, faculty members in other disciplines will be able to utilize this facility to carry out various activities pertaining to catalyst testing, reactor development, catalytic heat exchanger development, sensor development and thermal systems studies.
High-performance Computing Laboratory HPCLab@IITGN first started in 2011/2012 with the establishment of NODE-X, a hybrid multi-core and GPU-based high-performance computing (HPC) platform for advancing research and teaching in computational science and engineering and for the promotion of the use of GPU accelerators and CUDA programming for HPC. NODE-X consists of seven networked workstations set up with partial support from IIT Gandhinagar, Fujitsu and Nvidia. The initial main compute engines of this system are the 2 Celsius R-670 workstations consisting of 24 CPU cores, 96 GB main system RAM (i.e. CPU cores) and 2 Terabytes of HDD Storage and 4 Nvidia Tesla C2070 GPU cards consisting a total of 1800 CUDA cores and 6GB GPU/Graphics RAM. The system runs on the Ubuntu Linux Operating System and the job scheduling is managed by an open source software Torque. The remaining 5 high-end workstations (each consisting of Nvidia Quadro 2000 cards, 1 GB memory with 1 TB storage,4 CPUs and 4GB RAM and 192 GPU cores ) form a computational design cluster of 20 CPU, 20GB RAM to facilitate high fidelity computational modeling and visualization of engineered systems. In 2013, the cluster has been expanded to include another R-670 workstation and has 4 Tesla C2070, 2 CUDA- enabled GeForce GTX480s, 2 CUDA- enabled GeForce GTX680s and 2 Kepler K20 GPU cards. These are widely used in the graduate level and a computer science minor course on Algorithms on Advanced Computer Architectures. In Feb 2013, IIT Gandhinagar was granted recognition as a Nvidia-CUDA Teaching Centre. The entire facility is connected via network with a 8 TB NAS Unified Storage System. In 2014 the memory of the system has been upgraded to192 GB in view increased usage as this facility serves as a computational resource for the entire campus community. Several popular CAE softwares as well as open source softwares have been implemented on the system. NODE-X is connected to GARUDA- the Indian Grid and a MOU between CDAC Bangalore and IITGN. CDAC Pune has allotted a few accounts facilitating large scale scientific computing on the National Param Supercomputing Facility (NPSF) – Param Yuva at CDAC Pune. In conjunction with this, CD-Adapco has provided IITGN with unlimited licenses for Star-CCM+ multi-physics and CFD software licenses for enabling large scale scientific computations on NPSF. IITGN has also been appointed by CDAC as the Indian Grid Certification Authority for Ahmedabad. In a major HPC hardware upgrade in 2015, a new HPC System VEGA has been set up to meet the increasing demands of HPC on campus. VEGA is a high performance computing cluster (HPCC) of Fujitsu make with 8.8 TFlops (Peak) and 7.4 Tflops (sustained), has one master node with Intel dual six-core processors, 48GB RAM and 8 compute nodes each with Intel dual eight-cores processor and 64GB RAM. Additionally, the cluster has two GPU nodes each with Intel eight-core and NVIDIA K20Xm Tesla cards with 2688 CUDA cores. The storage of the HPCC is equipped with Dual-Controller based SAN and has a usable capacity of 25TB that connects to the master node through I/O nodes. The internode communication takes place through the Infiniband backbone and Gigabyte Ethernet Switch. Many software packages ranging from gcc compilers to parallel computing software. For more information click here
Wind tunnel testing facility
The wind tunnel testing facility was installed in 2013 This low speed, open loop wind tunnel has a test section of 330mm X 330mm. The speed can be varied from 0 to 40 m/s. The facility is capable of doing measurements in boundary layers, open jets and mixing layers. The lab is used for both undergraduate and graduate teaching, as well as the research for PG students.
Wet Chemical Labs
The institute has established wet chemical laboratories for conducting classes as well as for performing research. These laboratories are equipped with ventilated fume hoods and a host of fire safety measures such as extinguishers, solvent cabinets and emergency exits. The laboratories are fully equipped for conducting teaching classes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In addition to the wet laboratories the discipline uses central instrument facilities that house high-end characterization and analytical instrumentation such as 500 MHz NMR, QTOF-MS, XRD, AFM, SEM, CD, Fluorescence, IR and UV-visible spectroscopy and HPLC. The discipline makes seamless use of similar instrumentation and laboratory facilities in allied areas such as Materials Science, Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering. A few images of the facilities and laboratories are provided below.
500 MHz NMR
Wet Chemistry Laboratory
Materials Electrochemistry Laboratory
A potentiostat-galvanostat (CH-660E, CH instrument, USA) has been procured. This facility is useful in characterizing the electronically conducting material to get their I-V characteristics. As this equipment also has a power source and load, it is also useful to understand the discharge capacity of a battery and capacitor. This facility comes with readymade glass cells and metal electrodes. This equipment can be used to perform a wide range of experiments such as: potentiostat/galvenostat, cyclic voltamatry, linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), staricase voltammetry (SCV), Tafel plot (TAFEL), chrono amperometry (CA), chrono coulometry (CC), differential pulse voltammetry, double differential pulse amperometry (DDPA), triple pulse amperometry (TPA), bulk electrolysis with coulometry (BE), hydrodynamic modulation voltammetry (HMV), sweep-step functions (SSF), multi-potential steps (STEP), ac impedance (IMP) 10uHz-1MHz, impedance-time (IMPT), impedance-potential (IMPE), chronopotentiometry (CP), multi-current steps (ISTEP), chronopotentiometry with current ramp (CPCR), potentiometric stripping analysis (PSA), open circuit potential-time (OCPT), RDE control (0-10V output), full version of CV simulator and impedance simulator.
A facility for synthesizing metal oxides has been set up in the Materials Synthesis Laboratory. This includes a locally made high-temperature furnace, benchtop pH meter (Thermo Scientific) and benchtop ultrasonicator (hot plates with magnetic stirrers).
Molecular and Cellular Biology Facility
Molecular and Cellular Biology Facility (MCBF) supports research activities of faculty members and students working in the field of molecular biology, microbiology and cell biology. Several undergraduates, MTech and project students working at the interface of their parent discipline and Biosciences or Bioengineering also call MCBF their home. This facility is equipped with a multimode spectrophotometer, gradient thermocycler, gel documentation system, real-time PCR, inverted fluorescence microscope, FPLC, water purifier, laminar flow hood, -80°C freezer, -20°C freezer, refrigerators, shaker incubators, refrigerated centrifuges (low and medium capacities), western blotting apparatus, pH meters and water baths. MCBF also houses microwave based peptide synthesizer along with organic synthesis module and ultracentrifuge provided with three rotors for varied applications. A cell culture facility equipped with a biosafety cabinet, CO2 incubator, high speed centrifuge, automated cell counter and liquid N2 cryopreserver is also available adjacent to MCBF that supports cell and tissue culture related research activities. Click here to learn more
FPLC and Fluorescent microscope
Peptide synthesizer and Gel imager
Multimode Plate reader
Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) Facility
FESEM facility available at IIT Gandhiangar is the state of the art equipment from JEOL (JSM7600F).The facility is equipped with platinum coating and primary sample preparation tools. FESEM also has EDS attachment (Oxford, Model INCA Energy 250 EDS) which can be used for the elemental analysis. The equipment is very useful for analysis of a variety of specimens with specific applications such as, examination of fractured surfaces, surface morphology of nanomaterials and microparticles, powder samples, archaeological samples and many more.
Particle Engineering and Powder Processing Laboratory
A research laboratory on particle engineering and powder processing (PEPP) has been set up to support research in the area of powder technology. The facility is similar to a typical formulation lab (solid dosage) used in the pharmaceutical industry. Several sophisticated instruments have been procured to characterize the particulate solids, bulk powders under different humidity conditions. The facility has equipment to study various aspects of powder technology such as powder packing, mixing, fluidization and flow through hopper.
The laboratory is currently equipped with a V-blender (Prism Pharma) and a cone-mill (Prism Pharma) for powder mixing and milling. Other sophisticated equipment such as powder rheometer (Freeman Technology) and laser diffraction particle size analyzer (CILAS) are available to characterize the bulk powder (shear test, bulk density, compressibility, aeration etc.) and particle size determination. A digital automatic tap/bulk density apparatus (Veego) and angle-of-repose apparatus are there for tap density and angle-of-repose measurement. An environmental test chamber (HMG India) along with a hot-air oven is there for subjecting the powders to different humidity and temperature conditions. Different sizes of fluid bed and mixing devices have been fabricated to study the fluidizability, flow through hoppers, mixing of fine powders.
Colloids Engineering Laboratory
A state-of-the-art laboratory facility has been developed for preparation and characterization of nanoparticles/microparticles to be used in pharmaceuticals and biomedical applications. The laboratory has a set-up for nanoparticle production using a probe sonicator (Sonics VC 505), a particle size analyzer (Beckman Coulter LS 13320) for measurement of particle sizes in the range of 40nm-2mm and particle sizing systems (PSSS) zeta analyzer (NICOMP380 ZLS) for estimation of zeta potential of aqueous suspensions of nanoparticles. The PSS NICOMP 380 ZLS can also be used to estimate the size of particles in the range of 0.6nm-10µm. A Martin Christ freeze dryer (Alpha 1-4 LD plus) is available for preparation of dry powder samples. A facility to produce aqueous suspensions of drug nanoparticles using subcritical CO2 (at 30-70 bar) is also available which includes a 5-liter high-pressure vessel (operating conditions: 200 bar, and 100o C).
A facility to produce and characterize aqueous suspensions of microbubbles is also available. These microbubble suspensions are emerging as a major tool in ultrasonic contrast imaging and drug delivery applications. The facility includes a set-up for generating microbubbles, a particle size analyzer (PSS NICOMP Accusizer 780AD) for analysis of size distribution and concentration of microbubble suspensions, a swing bucket rotor centrifuge (Eppendorf 5804) to obtain microbubbles suspensions with a narrow size distribution through differential centrifugation and an optical microscope (NIKON TS 100F) for the characterization of morphology of microbubbles.
Photonic Sensors Laboratory
The Photonic Sensors Laboratory conducts research in the area of physical and chemical sensing using photonic technologies. An area of current focus is tunable diode laser spectroscopy for real-time detection of hazardous gases and measurement of gas concentration, pressure and temperature. This activity has direct application in industrial process control, safety and clinical applications such as breathe analysis for non-invasive detection of biomarkers. The laboratory is equipped with narrow linewidth near-infrared laser diodes (1650nm from Toptica Photonics and 2004nm from Vertilas), thermoelecrtrically-cooled amplified photodetectors (Thorlabs), a 50MHz dual-phase digital lock-in amplifier (Zurich Instruments), a high-end arbitrary waveform generator (Agilent) and a 500MHz digital storage oscilloscope. The laboratory also has an assortment of telecom-grade laser diodes, photodetectors and optical fiber components.
Semiconductor Device Characterization Facility
The semiconductor device characterization facility has been established for detailed wafer-level characterization (I-V, C-V, pulse, noise and reliability measurements). This facility has the following equipment: a 6-inch wafer probe station with thermo chuck (Semiprobe), semiconductor parametric analyzer B1500 with 4 SMUs, 1 LCR meter, 1 pulse unit (Agilent), dynamic signal analyzer 35670A (Agilent), low-noise current preamplifier (Stanford Research Systems), ICCAP modelling software (Agilent), manual diamond scriber (ATV). This facility will be extensively used for semiconductor device/circuit research, semiconductor device modelling and electrical characterization of nanostructures.
Solar PV Plant Facility
Two roof-top solar PV systems (each 10 kWp) sponsored by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) Gandhinagar and NTT Facilities, Inc, Japan have been installed on one of the buildings. These PV systems are already operational and are being used to conduct research and support teaching in the field of solar photovoltaics. An accurate data acquisition and monitoring system installed at IIT Gandhinagar for the PV systems complements research in the area of forecasting and performance analysis of the two types of solar PV modules and in investigation of the impact of solar PV systems on the local power distribution network. An important contribution of this installation is that it significantly reduces the electricity energy bills of the institute.
It is proposed to add the IITGN solar PV system to the Underwriter Laboratories (UL, USA) PV research node for long-term ageing studies and the other aspects related to the solar PV system. The UL PV research grid has such collaborations with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), USA and INER (Taiwan) solar PV facilities. Adding the IITGN PV system would provide another climate region that will boost collaborative research.
Ambient Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM/AFM)
Model : Multimode-8-AM
This high-end instrument is equipped with basic and advanced modes, such as, contact, non-contact, lateral, magnetic and electric force, phase imaging, STM/STS and c-AFM. Along with the measurement of the film quality, its roughness and particle size, this instrument also measures the magnetic force, electrostatic force and conductivity profile of the relevant samples. All kinds of solid samples can be measured with this instrument.
X-ray Diffraction System
One of the most sophisticated instruments procured for material characterization and advanced materials research includes a floor-mounted and fully automatic X-ray diffraction (XRD) system.
The diffractometer is from Bruker AXS, Germany (D8 Discover) and is a plug-and-play multimode system to study powder X-ray diffraction, thin film analysis (parallel beam optics), small-angle X-ray scattering (transmission mode) and non-ambient high-temperature (up to 16000C) X-ray diffraction. Standard crystallographic ICDD database is available for phase identification. Researchers can also use the analysis software Drffrac EVA for interpretation of XRD data.
Friction Stir Welding Equipment
A vertical milling machine has been converted to conduct Friction Stir Welding experiments. Various tools and fixtures have been developed and used to join polymers such as PP and ABS and also some Aluminum alloys. The machine is capable of running at six different combinations of tool rotation speed and feed rate.
Thin Film Laboratory
The ‘Thin Film Laboratory’, set-up in 2013, carries out film deposition using an RF Magnetron sputtering unit (Model: Table Top Sputter coater MM–237, Supplier: M/S Milman Thin Film Systems Pvt. Ltd.) with facility for co-deposition from two targets.
All types of metal, semiconductor and insulator films can be deposited using this deposition unit. The laboratory is also equipped with a Four-point probe measurement system to measure the resistivity of the semiconductor thin films.
Civil Engineering currently has Geotechnical Laboratory equipped with basic soil testing as well as high end research equipments such as Triaxial test setup with DAQ and analysis software for UU, CU, CD compression tests, Advanced Automated Triaxial setup with additional facility for Extension loading test, Ko test and Stress path test, Fully Automated Cyclic Triaxial test setup (0.01-10Hz, stress & strain controlled) for liquefaction potential and dynamic properties of soil (High strain amplitude; 10-4% to 10-2%); Bender Element system for shear modulus of soil (Low strain amplitude; 10-6% to 10-4%). In addition, a self-reacting pneumatic slurry consolidation setup and CRS (Constant Rate of Strain) consolidation setup have been developed at IITGN to prepare the remolded specimens of fine grained soils and to obtain compressibility parameters of cement treated soils respectively. To complement the automated testing procedures, design software such as GEO5, GiD, STAAD Pro, and SCI-SAP have also been acquired.
The In-situ testing equipments available at laboratory include Plate load test of 300kN capacity with motorized anchoring system for bearing capacity, Standard Penetration Test (SPT) & Dynamic Cone Penetration Test (DCPT) with automatic free fall hammering system for in-situ shear strength and shear wave velocity of soil. The basic soil testing equipments for UG studies are also available in the lab; Vibratory sieve shaker, Hydrometer, Atterberg limits, Standard and Modified proctor, Oedometer, UC setup, Direct Shear, Swell pressure setup, Relative density, Core Cutter, Sand Pouring, Chemical tests for soils, Muffled furnace (900°C) for organic matter determination, Optical & Digital LCD Microscopes etc.