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Professional Services Offered

Prototype Design and Fabrication

The experienced staff at NU-LED have wide ranging expertise including: electronics, optical engineering, spectroscopy, programming, machining, and more. We provide professional design/fabrication service in these fields ranging from customizing pre-existing devices, system automation, programing, to manufacturing fully custom instruments from scratch. Whether you need a system that is not commercially available, want it at a significantly reduced price, a shortened time frame, or simply want to deal with someone in-house, we will work with you to provide exactly what you need. Contact us today and ask us how NU-LED can help advance your research.

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Schematic Design and Printed Circuit Board Development

The facility provides services in the design of custom electronics hardware, component selection, schematic preparation, and development of hardware. We work with you and develop the board to meet your requirements. We provide the technical support to outsource the PCB fabrication and assembly for complex printed circuit boards with high pin count and small footprint surface mount components. For Northwestern customers, our standard rate applies although heavily discounted rates are also available for large projects. Contact us today and ask us how NU-LED can help advance your research.

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FPGA-based Prototype Design and Firmware Development

Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) are semiconductor devices that can be reprogrammed to desired functionality. FPGAs are used in various applications like computing, data storage, medical, video and image processing and in communication. NU-LED provides services for prototype designs based on field programmable gate arrays, firmware development and testing. For Northwestern customers, our standard rate applies although heavily discounted rates are also available for large projects. Contact us today and ask us how NU-LED can help advance your research.

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Hardware Automation and Integration

Want to set up your research so that experiments are automated?  Both as a time-saver and as an approach to improve the quality/reproducibility of your results, it's often beneficial to have your experimental hardware run “hands free.”  NU-LED staff have years of experience in interfacing and automating hardware into new or pre-existing setups using a variety of programming languages.  Most notably, LabVIEW, but also Python, MATLAB, C/C++, etc. Contact us today and ask us how NU-LED can help with research automation.

For projects that do not require high precision (e.g., nanosecond timing, 24-bit ADC) NU-LED staff are also adept at programming inexpensive microcontrollers (e.g., Arduino, Raspberry Pi).  These devices are cost effective, easy to implement, and highly adaptable. In the past we've used them to create variable frequency down counters, heartrate monitors, clock synchronizers, stepper motor controllers, remote solenoid valve controllers, and logic controllers.  They've assisted research projects as widely varied as femtosecond stimulated Raman to automated metal-organic framework spray coating.   For higher level precision projects, one should take advantage of our FPGA or integrated circuit expertise, but consider these as a cheaper alternative with a quick development time. For Northwestern customers, note that our standard rate applies for any development although heavily discounted rates are also available for large projects.


Consultation

We are happy to lend our expertise to help you with your research. If you need information or have a general question just stop by and ask or email one of our staff. The first hour of consultation on any new project is free of charge!  After that, our standard labor rate applies.


Instrument Repair

When an instrument in the lab goes down, it is often costly and time consuming to send it back to the manufacturer for repair.  Although we can't fix everything, there's a good chance we can diagnose the problem and fix it in house. This expedites the repair process and usually saves significantly on the repair expenses.  Note that our standard labor rate applies .


Rates

  • The first hour spent working on a new project is now subsidized 100% by IMSERC, and is therefore free of charge for clients.  Please note that this does include time spent by NU-LED on discussions, consultation and general research about the project.
  • Significantly reduced hourly rates are available for clients wishing to commit to long term projects (see below).

Labor rates for external academic and commercial users

Service External Academic Users Commercial Users
Base Labor Rate $131.33 / hr $168 / hr
>40 hrs of labor /quarter $105.06 / hr $131.33 / hr
>130 hrs of labor /quarter $81.66 / hr $100 / hr