UMD Invests Over $10M in Research Equipment to Drive Discovery, Innovation

The University of Maryland is making a major investment to obtain the most technologically advanced equipment on campus for a broad range of research areas, from neuroimaging to next-generation quantum materials.

The investment of more than $10 million was made possible by the UMD Research Instrumentation Fund, launched in March and co-led by Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Ann G. Wylie and Vice President for Research Laurie E. Locascio, in partnership with President Darryll J. Pines. The program was created to support faculty and core facilities through significant investments to replace or upgrade research equipment.

“The Research Instrumentation Fund awards will help catalyze new growth across the research enterprise and provide meaningful opportunities for education and engagement of students, researchers, and partners,” said Pines. “This significant investment in state-of-the-art equipment will further increase the impact of our research.”

A distinguished scientific peer review panel assessed faculty proposals, and based upon these assessments, over $5 million in grants was awarded for new and upgraded equipment. The awards cover 50% of the cost of the research instrumentation, with matching funds contributed by each applicant’s department or college covering the balance of more than $5 million. Researchers from across campus will benefit from the new and upgraded equipment.

The following equipment investments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry were supported by the Research Instrumentation Fund awards:

State-of-the-Art Scanning X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Microprobe for Research, Training and Education

Karen Gaskell, Associate Research Scientist
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The new X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) will be located in the Surface Analysis Center, a shared university core research facility and NanoCenter partner lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. XPS is an essential materials research tool for eight departments spanning the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). The materials that can be studied by XPS are truly diverse, with potential for strong impact in areas such as nanotechnology, energy storage and generation, among others, and the new state-of-the-art instrument will provide capabilities that the campus currently does not possess. 

Leading the Structural Sciences Through New Single Crystal X-ray Instrumentation

Efrain Rodriguez, Associate Professor
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Peter Zavalij, Director
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
X-ray Crystallography Center

New instrumentation with state-of-the-art measurement capabilities for structure determination will help UMD’s X-ray Crystallographic Center (XCC) further establish itself as a national leader in quantum materials science, structural biology, organic/inorganic chemistry, and materials science and engineering. Currently, the XCC supports the scientific research of multiple PIs from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and other units in the Clark School. The XCC also collaborates with federal laboratories, including the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other universities and colleges, including Morgan State University.


To read about all of the projects, visit


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