Laboratories

Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility

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.

Electron Microprobe (PMRG)

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 (PMRG)

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.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) suite currently houses two microscopes with room for a third instrument. The Hitachi S-4800 cold-field emission gun (cold FEG) can operate between 0.5 keV and 30 keV. It is equipped with a Thermo-Noran Si(Li) energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) running Noran SystemSix (NSS) software. The Hitachi S-3400 is a W thermal emitter with a variable-pressure chamber and Renishaw InVia Raman system with the Structural and Chemical Analyser (SCA) interface and Reflex microscope. It is equipped with secondary-electron and backscattered-electron detectors and a Thermo-Noran SDD EDS system operating NSS software. The SEM suite also has laboratory benchtop space for sample-preparation and includes a chemical fume hood.

Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory (PMRG)

UA has recently purchased a 200 keV Hitachi HF5000 transmission electron microscope. It was delivered in November 2016 and is currently being installed in the basement of the Kuiper Space Sciences Building. The HF is cold-field emitted and probe-aberration corrected. It is capable of 0.3 eV energy resolution for electron energy-loss spectroscopy and 78 pm point-to-point resolution for atomic-resolution imaging. It will be equipped with two spectrometers for atomic-scale spectral imaging: a Gatan 965 post-column electron energy-loss spectrometer (EELS) and dual side-entry energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometers with (large) solid angle of 2.0 sr.

Optical Instrument Fabrication and Calibration Lab

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.

PIRL: Planetary Image Research Laboratory

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.

Wet Chemistry Laboratory (PMRG)

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.