The Imaging and Analysis Center (IAC) at the Princeton Materials Institute (PMI) provides cutting-edge instrumentation and expertise for the characterization of hard and soft materials, including biological specimens. The center is crucial in advancing research and education at Princeton University and beyond. The IAC is closely connected to the Princeton Center for Complex Materials [Princeton's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (PCCM), a prominent research hub funded by the National Science Foundation. Thanks to over 25 years of continuous support from the University, the National Science Foundation, and the State of New Jersey, among others, the IAC has become the most prominent central facility at Princeton and a world-leading center for advanced materials characterization.

The IAC is dedicated to fostering education, research, and training for student researchers, with a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration. The center also actively partners with industry and other academic institutions. In recent years, the IAC has served over 1000 students and researchers from 18 different departments and centers on campus, providing valuable hands-on experience with state-of-the-art electron microscopes. Undergraduates have the unique opportunity to operate these advanced instruments during class and later utilize them in their research projects, including senior theses. The IAC's research experience has helped numerous students achieve national recognition, including the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship, Barry M. Goldwater National Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, National Science Foundation Fellowship, Materials Research Society Student Award, Microscopy Society of America Undergraduate Research Award (5 times), and more.

The IAC is home to award-winning materials core courses MSE302 and MSE505, available to undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to these courses, the center supports ten regular classes each year. Students must complete short courses offering hands-on instruction and experimental demonstrations to access advanced instrumentation. These courses cover everything from essential sample preparation to the operation of high-end electron microscopes and have attracted over 6,000 student enrollments. The IAC's impact extends beyond the academic community. It has served over 800 industrial scientists from over 140 companies, contributing to numerous innovations and new product developments across various industries.

The IAC's state-of-the-art instrumentation is available to all qualified users, regardless of their affiliation with Princeton University. Hourly fees are charged based on the user category, with industrial users paying a competitive rate compared to commercial laboratories. In contrast, undergraduate students are billed at half the rate charged to graduate students and postdocs. The IAC's website provides detailed information on the instruments, capabilities, and fee structure. The website also features a web-based instrument reservation system that allows users to reserve equipment and check availability. The IAC's instruments are connected to a computerized login system that ensures authorized usage and tracks instrument safety and usage charges.

Thank you for considering the IAC for your scientific project and education needs. We are always happy to assist you and provide our expertise and instrumentation to help you achieve your research goals. Please get in touch with us for more information on how we can help you.

Nan Yao
Director and Professor, Imaging and Analysis Center

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