Wet Chemistry Laboratory

The planetary materials research group maintains a laboratory suite with capabilities in wet chemistry (perchloric acid-rated hood for dissolution of meteoritic materials), ultramicrotome sample preparation of thin electron-transparent samples, optical microscopy (petrographic and stereo microscopes with digital image acquisition), a workstation for graphics processing of three-dimensional data sets, and an 11 m2 class-100 cleanroom for handling/preparation of sensitive materials. The laboratory serves as a staging area for archiving, preparation, and documentation of samples for analysis via electron and ion microscopies described below.


Electron Microprobe Lab

The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory houses Cameca SX-50 and SX-100 electron microprobes. The SX-50 is equipped with four wavelength dispersive (WDS) spectrometers and a Si(Li) EDS detector. The SX-100 Ultra is equipped with five WDS spectrometers and a silicon drift EDS detector. Both instruments are capable of high-precision chemical analysis of heterogeneous materials, either in point or scanning modes, but higher current capabilities and larger crystals with superior peak-background ratios on the SX-100 allow for better detection levels.

Focused Ion Beam Laboratory

As part of university core facilities, LPL houses an FEI Helios NanoLab 660 focused-ion-beam scanning-electron microscope (FIB-SEM). The Helios is equipped with an Elstar electron gun and monochromator and is capable of electron beam resolution down to 0.6 nm from 15 kV to 2kV. Its Tomahawk Ga+ ion column can be operated between 65 nA and 500 V for, respectively, removal of large volumes of material and final sample polishing. Under standard operating conditions, an ion beam resolution 2.5 nm at 30 kV is achievable. The Helios is equipped with in situ micromanipulation for creation and transfer of lamellae for TEM analysis. It is also equipped with an EDAX Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) analysis system for compositional and crystallographic analysis in two and three dimensions. Multiple polygons are supported for device patterning as well as the ability to directly import customized shapes via BMP files for patterning or deposition. The Helios is equipped with C and Pt gas-injection systems.