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Advanced Materials Institute Mission

The Advanced Materials Institute is an ARTP center that provides access to advanced scientific instrumentation for characterization of the composition, structure, and properties of materials in support of the educational, research, and public service missions of WKU for faculty and students involved in materials research.  AMI also conducts materials characterization studies on samples for local, regional and national businesses and governmental agencies.


The Advanced Materials Institute conducts analyses using the following methods:

Anion Liquid Chromatography (ALC)

Atomic Force Microscopy (AMF)

Bomb Calorimetry (BC)

Elemental Analysis for Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur, and Mercury (EA)

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS)

Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-ES)

Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (LCMS)

Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX)

Single Crystal X-ray Structure Determination (SC-XRD)

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF)

X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD)

  • Dr. Aaron Celestian is a mineralogist interested in Earth materials, material synthesis, and the determination of atomic arrangements in condensed matter. A primary goal of his research efforts is to quantify the mobility and reaction mechanisms of molecular species in, on, and around natural and engineered materials in a wide variety of environmental, geological, and planetary applications.
  • Dr. Hemali Rathnayake is interested in design, synthesis and characterization of chiral macromolecules and organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructures of interest in supramolecular chemistry and materials science. Our goal is to understand fundamental concepts of organic polymer-based photovoltaics.
  • Dr. Rui Zhang’s research involves developing sustainable, “green” and selective oxidation catalysis via highly reactive metal-oxo species. The specific objective is to develop a photo-catalytic procedure for organic oxidations using only atmospheric oxygen and visible light (sunlight). 
  • Dr. Donald Slocum and Dr. Paul Whitley are interested in converting solvent systems for the ortho-lithiation reaction from ether media to catalyzed hydrocarbon media. 

The core service of the Advanced Materials Institute is to provide access to advanced instrumental methods for the characterization of materials for both internal and external clients.  These results are frequently used in fundamental studies on the properties of matter, and for the characterization of materials used in the development of new materials based devices. 


Advanced Materials Institute Website 



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 Last Modified 10/28/22