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The Cambridge Polymer Labs is a location in the Commonwealth in 2287.[Non-canon 1]


This lab was created as a result of the research of three graduate students of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology, Jon Elwood, Ericka Woolum and Wilfred Bergman. The lab was involved in developing defense solutions and research for the U.S. military. Prior to the Great War, the company had been working on a supplementary piece of technology for power armor for a military contract that was intended for the Sino-American War.

When the bombs fell, Director Jon Elwood was told by the military that only essential personnel would be given a military escort to safety and that if they failed in their duties they would not be classified as such. In response, Elwood locked the other scientists, including his wife, in their respective labs until the project was successfully completed. Elwood made the decision to keep every scientist besides his wife out of the loop with what had truly transpired above them, fearing that it would send them into a panic and they would be unable or unwilling to complete the project.

This decision proved fatal as his deception widened conflicts between the scientists and ultimately led to the deaths of a majority of the research team after a failed mutiny perpetuated by Wilfred Bergman, the suicide of Tom Franklin and the ghoulification of the remaining staff.


Main lobby

When first entering the polymer labs, directly to the left is the orientation room, where Molly briefs visitors on a job acquired in the quest Cambridge Polymer Labs. Before entering the orientation room, the male and female restrooms are located to the right, and to the right lies a passage that leads to the clean room and allows access to the rest of the facility. Behind the desk is a storage area, and a door to the right leads upstairs to additional storage areas and offices. In the center of the second floor is the director's office, including a terminal providing exposition on what happened directly before and during the Great War.

Research area

On the first floor and second floor of the research labs, several numbered chemical sample containers can be found scattered about the myriad of rooms. A glowing one can be found deeper into the labs behind a quarantine door, which must be overridden before it can be accessed for the sample of U-238 stored inside.

Immediately upon proceeding past the decontamination room will be the primary lab where the "polymer coating applicator" will be discovered, which can be used to combine the various polymers and isotopes found throughout the other labs.

From room C1, a crude passageway gives access to the ventilation pipes leading to the other side of the research area, giving access to the locked room C3 where the radioactive containment password is stored. At the end of the ventilation system, Ericka's skeletal remains can be discovered.[1]

Experiment samples numbers & names

The piezonucleic power armor can be created once by combining "U-238" with "Sample 611 Gold" and "Sample 3111 Lithium hydride."

Sample number Name ID
11317 Hydrochloric acid 0009BC88
3111 Lithium hydride 000A50F7
413 Gallium 000A018C
49 Cobalt 000A0190
611 Gold 000A50F5
65 Tungsten 000A018E

Notable loot

  • Massachusetts Surgical Journal issue #15 - In the director's office (Master locked door) on the second floor, next to a computer terminal, in which the key to the room can be obtained from Molly.
  • Vault-Tec lunchbox - When entering the building, head straight back to the wall and on the right it can be found on the counter.
  • Piezonucleic power armor - Reward for completing the experiment.
  • Hazmat suit - In the southwestern-most room (the room immediately left of room C4).
  • Fusion core - In the west corner of the director's office on the second floor within a display case.
  • Research Samples.
    • Unidentified sample 49 (cobalt) - Second floor, the room (room C1) on the east catwalk, on the desk with the skeleton wearing the trilby hat.
    • Unidentified sample 611 (gold) - Second floor, the room off of the (collapsed) west catwalk, on the desk next to the active computer terminal.
    • Unidentified sample 11317 (hydrochloric acid) - In the first room of the research area on the polymer coating applicator machine.
    • Unknown sample 3111 (lithium hydride)- In the same room as the hazmat suit (just south of room C4).
    • Unidentified sample 413 (gallium) - In the first-floor room (room C4) directly across from the room with the polymer coating applicator.
    • Unidentified sample 65 (tungsten) - In the northwestern-most first-floor room, accessible through the room with unidentified sample 413.
  • U-238 can be found in the isotope containment chamber, which can be unlocked via the terminal in C5 (which can be accessed via room C4). The isotope containment chamber is the room immediately to the left of room C2, or rather it's the room immediately to the right of the staircase if facing the said staircase. Across the radioactive waste there is a shelf that contains a single test tube in a rack which is the U-238 sample.
  • Suicide note - Next to the skeleton of Tom Franklin on the second floor in the research area.
  • Radioactive containment password - A holotape on the counter in room C3, which gives access to the isotope containment terminal in the room below it, C5.

Related quests

  • Cambridge Polymer Labs: The Sole Survivor gets trapped and has to find a way to escape the laboratory in one piece.
  • Underground Undercover: After the Sole Survivor gets into the Institute, the Railroad wants them to make contact with an anonymous person inside, nicknamed Patriot, who has been helping synths escape.
  • Pest Control: Dr. Binet of the Institute's Robotics division asks the Sole Survivor to eliminate some feral ghouls that are causing problems for a synth scavenger team.


  • Depending on the answers given in Molly's hiring interview, different items will be received respective to job given in response. The janitor will receive a jumpsuit and a mop, sales will receive dirty tan suit and a pen, research personnel will receive a lab coat and battered clipboard, and security personnel will receive dirty army fatigues, patrolman sunglasses and a baton. If the speech check is failed, the lab assistant position will be given, offering a lab coat and a battered clipboard in return.
  • The Cambridge Polymer Labs is a good source of crystal, which can be found in microscopes.
  • During random encounters, eyebots can be met outside of the facility playing recordings of recruitment ads for the labs.
  • During orientation, Molly will state that the lab assisted in creating Liberty Prime, which was vital in the defense of Anchorage. However, in Fallout 3, terminal entries state that Liberty Prime wasn't even ready when they were taking back Anchorage, meaning that Liberty Prime was never in Anchorage.


The Cambridge Polymer Labs appears only in Fallout 4.


PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One Sometimes after dropping a research sample using console commands, there is a chance that it will de-spawn and be replaced with a floating object labeled "NONE."[verified]




  1. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 407: "This laboratory was a research facility looking into the development of Smart Materials to convert radiation. It appears to have suffered a catastrophic failure after the bombs fell."