Macromolecular Materials Discovery Center (MMDC)

The Macromolecular Materials Discovery Center (MMDC) is a state-of-the-art materials characterization laboratory associated with the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII).

The MMDC is a shared user facility that accelerates discovery by providing MII-affiliated students, faculty, and industrial partners access to specialized instrumentation that might be impractical for a single research group or company to purchase on their own.

Facility users can collect detailed information on mechanical, thermal, and other properties of the novel materials they create, expanding the scope of their research and the potential applications for their products.

Hands-on training allows students to be directly involved in sample prep, testing, and analysis, enhancing fundamental understanding and facilitating seamless collaboration. Under the MMDC business model, continuous acquisition of new instrumentation to meet researchers’ needs will help ensure that, at Virginia Tech, instrumentation access won’t be a barrier to breaking new boundaries in materials science.

For information on using the MMDC, please contact the Facilities Manager.

This facility, which is operated under a contribution model and is available to all MII faculty, has several instruments, including:

  • TA Instruments RSA-G2 rheological solids analyzer with gas cooling accessory – 3-point bend, compression, dual-cantilever, and film/fiber tensile geometries
  • Hyrel System 30M extrusion 3D printer
  • TA Instruments DMA Q800 dynamic mechanical analyzer – submersion, 3-point bend, film/fiber tensile, and dual cantilever geometries with liquid nitrogen gas cooling accessory (chills to -180 °C)
  • TA Instruments DSC Q2000 differential scanning calorimeter – photocalorimeter accessory and RCS90 recirculating chiller (chills to -90 °C)
  • DSC-Q100 Cryo – liquid nitrogen gas cooling accessory (chills to -180 °C)
  • Brookfield DV-E vicometer
  • ChemInstruments AR-1000 adhesion / release tester

  • TA Instruments TMA Q400 thermomechanical analyzer
  • TA Instruments TGA Q500 thermogravimetric analyzer – with Nicolet iS 10 FT-IR spectrometer
  • Waters Breeze Aqueous Size-Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) – with Waters 2414 refractive index (RI) detector and Wyatt miniDAWN Treos multi-angle static light scattering (MALS) detector
  • Waters Acquity Advanced Polymer Chromatography System (APC)
  • Lasercomp Fox 50 Thermal Conductivity Instrument
  • Autodesk Ember DLP stereolithography 3D printer
  • Autolab N-Series potentiostat/galvanostat – with Espec benchtop relative humidity chamber

Planned additions include a scanning electron  microscope for surface analysis of 3-D printed material

Additional facilities outside of MII are located at other Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) locations. MII students also have access to their advisor’s instrumentation. For specific information regarding individual faculty research programs, please see the Faculty page.