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Cambridge Graphene Centre

Research Centre on Graphene, Layered Crystals and Hybrid Nanomaterials

The Ink lab includes state-of-the-art printing (inkjet, gravure, flexo, screen, 3D) and coating (spray, blade) techniques as well as equipment for advanced ink characterization.


For access to the lab, or for any general training, please contact the lab leader Dr Boyang Mao and Dr Tian Xia, or their deputy . For training on any of the equipment, please contact the Principal User or their deputy for the listed equipment.

While there is a range of devices in the Ink Laboratory, several of them require booking before use. The booking system can be found here.



Tensile Testing System - INSTRON


Principal User: DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


The tool is used for the testing tensile strength of composite R&D components manufactured within CGC Facilities. 


Twin-Screw Extruder - Composite Materials

Model: Bandera Twin-Screw


The tool is used for the extrusion of polymer-composite materials


Users in Charge:

Leader: Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao






NETZSCH LFA 467 HyperFlash® – Light Flash Apparatus

Principal User: Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


New Dimensions in the Measurement of Thermal Diffusivity and Conductivity – Fast, Simple, Economical
Broadest temperature range available, from -100°C to 500°C
With a single instrument setup – that is, without having to swap out either the detector or the furnace – the LFA 467 HyperFlash® can carry out measurements from -100°C to 500°C. Coupled with the broadest range of accessories available on the market, the instrument opens the door to completely new dimensions in the determination of thermophysical properties.

Sample throughput up to 4 times higher due to sample holder for 16 samples
One unique advantage of the LFA 467 HyperFlash® is its ability to simultaneously measure up to 16 samples over the entire temperature range. This allows for maximum sample throughput with a minimum input of operational time and effort. Refill systems are available for automatic refilling of the Dewar on both the detector and the furnace, allowing uninterrupted operation of the LFA system around the clock.


BioDot AD1520 Aspirate/Dispense Platform

Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


The AD1520 is a tabletop workstation designed for high speed aspirating and dispensing applications to glass slides, microtiter plates or membranes. It has a compact footprint and can be configured with up to four dispensers, making it ideal for a research laboratory to investigate new applications.

Chemical and biological reagents can be dispensed using the proprietary BioJet Elite technology. This technology couples the XYZ motion control system with the high precision displacement capabilities of a syringe pump and the high-speed actuation of a micro-solenoid valve. The three components synchronized together result in precise, non-contact liquid handling system. 


Discovery Hybrid Rheometer HR-1

Principal User: Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


The Discovery Hybrid Rheometer is a rotational rheometer which uses the parallel plate method to measure the viscosity and viscoelastic properties of liquids or soft solids.

It combines a patented advanced drag cup motor, a second generation magnetic bearing, force rebalance transducer (FRT), and the new patent-pending True Position Sensor (TPS) in a single-head Hybrid rheometer. The DHR has unprecedented performance specification and delivers unsurpassed direct strain control, direct stress control, and normal force measurement accuracy. The DHR features all popular TA innovations including patented Smart SwapTM geometries and the widest range of Smart Swap temperature systems and accessories commercially available. The result is the most advanced, versatile rheometer platform imaginable.

The HR-1 is a rugged, accurate, field-proven rheometer. The HR-1 shares the cutting-edge technology of the Discovery Hybrid Rheometer family in a platform that is ideal for production control, asphalt manufacture, and a wide range of general measurements of viscosity and viscoelasticity



Testacolor 171


Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


The testacolor 171 is an advanced printing system which enables the accurate single and multilayer printing of functional inks on flexible substrates. It includes exchangeable modules for gravure, flexo, screen printing.

Advanced printing/coating system enabling accurate single and multilayer printing/coating of functional inks on flexible substrates. Designed to explore various possibilities and combinations of coating and printing with a precision of <20 µm in one machine. Easily and rapid exchangeable modules. Optical alignment system (optional). Measuring software, low ink consumption, 2 ml is sufficient for reproducible print (gravure/flexo). Customized printing forms. Chambered and open doctor blades.


Ceradrop Super-Inkjet Printer X-Serie


Principal User: DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


CeraPrinter X-Serie is a TurnKey Materials Deposition Inkjet tool for process development in Printed Electronics and Smart 3D Printing. Thanks to its patented rotative head-holder “plug and play”, full curing area, in-situ characterisation devices and exclusive software suite, CeraPrinter X-Serie is a perfect “all inclusive” tool to enable advanced inkjet process development.

Substrate up to 305 mm x 305 mm with thickness up to 10mm
High accuracy five axis with motorised adjustable printing resolution, substrate alignment (+/-2 µm) and nozzles self calibration (< +/-3 µm)
Up to three different print-heads (more on request) to deposit aqueous, biologic, solvent and UV based inks
Able to print in Raster-Scan Mode (X or Y), Vector Mode (XY) and Single Pass (X or Y)


Climatic Chamber


Principal User: DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


Reproducible temperature and climate tests can be performed directly at your workplace. This is possible with the WTL and WKL chambers of Weiss. This series was specifically developed for use in laboratories. Compact dimensions – considerable intrinsic values.

  • Control and program control Simpac* with program storage for a max. of 100 programs
  • 3.5″ TFT-colour touch panel with Ethernet interface for communication with an on-site computer system
  • USB interface for documentation of measuring data via USB stick
  • large observation window and illuminated test space
  • high-quality double seals
  • 50mm access port
  • upper and lower temperature, specimen protection according to EN 60519-2 (1993) adjustable, with separate sensor



Principal User: Matteo Tiberi
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


Logitech’s CMP system offers nanometer level metarial removal capabilities on either individual die or wafers up to 100mm diameter. 

  • Silicon wafer CMP
  • Global CMP of III-V Compound Semiconductor
  • Global CMP of brittle, friable IR material substrates
  • Global CMP of Sapphire, Gallium Nitride & Silicon Carbide substrates
  • Reclamation of EPI ready substrates
  • Final Stage thinning of SOS & SOI wafers to below 20 microns
  • Device delayering for reverse engineering of FA applications

Contact angle


Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


Dimatix inkjet printer

Principal User:DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: James Faulkner

The DMP-2850 allows the deposition of fluidic materials on an 8x11 inch or A4 substrate, utilizing a disposable piezo inkjet cartridge. This printer can create and define patterns over an area of about 200 x 300 mm and handle substrates up to 25 mm thick with an adjustable Z height. The temperature of the vacuum platen, which secures the substrate in place, can be adjusted up to 60°C. The DMP-2850 offers a variety of patterns using a pattern editor program. Additionally, a waveform editor and a drop-watch camera system allows manipulation of the electronic pulses to the piezo jetting device for optimization of the drop characteristics as it is ejected from the nozzle. This system enables easy printing of structures and samples for process verification and prototype creation.

  • Provides substrate rotation alignment using reference marks
  • Allows positioning of the print origin to match substrate placement
  • Provides measurement of features and locations
  • Provides inspection and image capture of printed pattern or drops
  • Provides cartridge alignment when using multiple cartridges
  • Allows matching drop placement to previously patterned substrate

Flexo printer

Principal User: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


Gas characterization system

Principal User: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao

The system provides:

  • 3 mass flow controllers: 2 air (to give dry and wet air) and 1 gas, with a valve system to distribute gas mixture flow.
  • a thermoregulated humidifier, to provide 100% wet mixture.
  • a thermoregulated condenser to eliminate extra humidity.
  • This allows maximum flexibility on preparing gas flows at a given concentration, humidity and temperature.

With these parameters , the control program provides complete automatic sequences to verify all test in conformity with CEI norms. Computer Controlled Mass Spectrometer: Complete feedback on gas concentration is obtained by a computer-controlled mass spectrometer. Software PPT430 allows constant monitoring of cell contents, showing actual system concentration of gas. It is also possible to log data on disk, filling in reports on system activity. A special Close Source allows good readings even at low concentrations (a few PPM) of gas mixture (like CO, CH4, C4H10, and so on).


  • Three independent test cells, each with its own sensors to monitor constantly pressure, temperature, relative humidity and flow speed.
  • Thermal regulated chamber allows an accurate setting of temperature.
  • Microprocessor program is used to control every valve and to calculate gas flows and gas mixtures at desired concentration, humidity and temperature.
  • Total control of dry and wet flows permits to obtain specified relative humidity value.
  • Mass spectrometer to monitor actual gas concentrations.

Inkjet 3D printer - Project 3500

Principal User: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao



Nikon large sample microscope

Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


Ozone Cleaner

Principal User: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


Screen printer

Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole


SCS spray coater

Principal User: DR Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao


Sonoplotter - GIX Microplotter

Principal User: Dr Vaishakh Kedambaimoole
Deputy: Dr Tian Xia

Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)

Principal User: Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: James Faulkner

This instrument is basically a sophisticated ash content test and is useful in measuring the inorganic filler content of plastics. TGA analysis continuously weighs a sample to the nearest millionth of a gram as it is heated to temperatures of up to 1000°C. As the temperature is increased, various components of the sample burn off and the weight percentage of each can be measured. Results are in the form of a graph with temperature plotted on the X-Axis and weight percentage plotted on the Y-Axis. A typical TGA scan looks similar to a staircase with each step representing a different compound. Our typical run is to ramp at 10°C per minute to 700°C in nitrogen followed by 10°C per minute to 900°C in air. Highly volatile matter is the material that burns off in nitrogen between ambient and 150°C. Medium volatile matter is the material that burns off in nitrogen between 150°C and 700°C. Combustible matter is the material that burns off in air but not in nitrogen at 700°C. Ash content is the material left at 900°C in air


Differential Scanning Calorimeter

Principal User: Dr Boyang Mao
Deputy: Dr Jing Wan

The Q20 is a cost-effective general purpose DSC that gives accurate and reproducible data. The Q20 can be equipped with a 50-position autosampler (Auto Q20) that provides a high-throughput platform for basic DSC experiments, with performance comparable to competitive research-grade instruments.

  • Temperature Range: Ambient to 725 ℃
  • Measuring Range: +/- 350 mW
  • Temperature Precision: ± 0.05 ℃

HS Extruder

Model: 3Devo 450 Composer


Single screw extruder with a high shear mixing element for monofilament extrusion of filled composites. Filament diameter is maintained by PID controller. Barrel temperatures up to 450 Celsius are possible.


Users in Charge:

Leader:Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao




LS Extruder

Model: 3Devo 450 Precision


Single screw extruder with low shear and uniform heating for monofilament extrusion. Filament diameter is maintained by PID controller. Barrel temperatures up to 450 Celsius are possible.


Users in Charge:

Leader: Dr Tian Xia
Deputy: Dr Boyang Mao




DMA 850 Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer

Model: Discovery 850

The TA Instrument DMA850 is an advanced Dynamic Mechanical Analyser which is capable of characterising the viscoelastic properties of polymers such as the Storage and Loss Modulus and their dependence on temperature, frequency and magnitude of the applied forces. This allows deep insights to be obtained for polymer mechanical properties which gives a good assessment for their suitability in different applications.

The DMA850 can achieve ultrahigh measurement sensitivity due to the extremely low forces (~0.1N) and displacements (~5 nm) that can be applied to the sample material. In addition, it is equipped with an additional liquid nitrogen Gas Cooling Accessory which extends the full operation temperature range to between -150 °C and 600 °C.

The DMA 850 also comes with various types of sample holders which can be used to test the samples' response properties to different stresses such as tensile, compression or shear, making it a highly versatile equipment.


Users in Charge:

Leader: Dr Wing Chung Liu
Deputy: Dr Tian Xia




When in the Ink laboratory, please follow the local rules, downloadable here.