Materials research and student training at large land-grant universities like the University of Arizona require routine access to state-of-the-art instrumentation that combines 2D- and 3D-analysis of composition and structure from cm to atomic length scales. Information on atomic structure, crystal chemistry, and spatial relationships is critical to understanding structure/property relationships of engineered materials as well as the origins of earth and planetary materials.
The LPL optical instrument development and calibration facility supports development and testing of spectroscopic and imaging instruments for use on ground and space based platforms. The laboratory maintains 3 monochromator-fed vacuum calibration chambers with detector systems covering wavelengths from 30-1000 nm. The chambers are installed in a main lab area, a 600 sqft clean room configurable to class 100, and a 300 sqft class 10000 staging room. Optical fabrication is supported by a dark room, electronics lab, and extensive inventories of emission line sources, optical components/stages, and computing resources (Zemax ray tracing software, CAD, and LabView). The facility is managed by Dr. Walt Harris and Dr. Jason Corliss.
The resources at PIRL consist of hardware, software, and people dedicated to providing support for projects in the planetary sciences. Access to PIRL’s electronic resources is via remote connection by SSH or the Web, or at PIRL's public user room, located at the Sonett Space Sciences building in Tucson, Arizona.
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.