Lab facilities

Research facilities in the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences include:

• Mineral separation/sample preparation lab - Rock saws, thin sectioning equipment, grinder/polisher, vibratory polisher, jaw crusher, disk mill, shatterbox, slope Frantz magnetic separator, ovens, lap wheels, sieves and sieve shakers, rock storage

• Twenty Leica DM750P petrographic microscopes available for student use, and one trinocular Leica DM750P scope with a dedicated 18 megapixel DSLR camera with HD video recording (Canon EOS Rebel T3i) for taking photomicrographs or videos of thin sections.

• Leech’s personal lab has a Nikon E600POL polarizing microscope and a Nikon SMZ1500 reflected and transmitted light microscope with a polarizing, rotatable stage and base capable of pseudo-darkfield imaging. These two microscopes share a DSLR camera (a Canon EOS Rebel T3i) that can be used interchangeably between the two scopes. The Leech lab also houses a custom Xidax X-8 and an Alienware Aurora R12 "gaming" PC for thermodynamic modeling of complex rocks using Perple_X; these PCs are set up with convenient remote access capability.


Research centers and facilities in the College of Science & Engineering:

• Zeiss Ultra 55 Field emission scanning electron microscope with BSE, STEM detector, Oxford INCA EDS and EBSD, and a Gatan MiniCL. We use the SEM in conjunction with an XEI Evactron plasma cleaner and ibss Gentle Asher to maintain a clean sample chamber. Sample preparation equipment includes a Gatan Model 682 PECS + RIBE that is a coater/ion beam etcher, a Cressington 208HR sputter coater, a Cressington 208C carbon coater equipped with sample holders specifically for geological thin sections, and a critical point dryer. We use Channel5 software to process EBSD data.

• Bruker D8 ADVANCE powder x-ray diffractometer

• Raman spectrometer with a 532 nm laser and 50 mW power (in the Department of Physics & Astronomy), and a Horbia Raman system with two laser lines (532 and 788 nm) and a TERS microscope (in the School of Engineering).

• Various spectrometers, gas and liquid chromatographs, radiochemistry facilities and equipment, centrifuges, lasers, etc. (in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)

• Scanning laser confocal microscope, fluorescence and epi-fluorescence microscopes, and a dissecting scope (in the Cell and Molecular Imaging Center, Department of Biology)

• The Atomic Force Microscopy Facility

• Gas chromatograph stable isotope analyzer, elemental analyzer, etc. (at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies)

• Glass shop and an electronics repair facility

 The Sierra Nevada Field Campus


Other facilities (in the Bay Area and at other U.S. institutions):

• We also regularly use lab facilities at other universities including collecting mineral composition data on the electron microprobe in the Microchemical Analysis Facility and performing U-Pb zircon geochronology & trace element geochemistry on the Stanford-USGS SHRIMP-RG lab at Stanford University. 

• We send samples to the Peter Hooper GeoAnalytical Lab at Washington State University for whole-rock major and trace element geochemical analyses.

• We have an established relationship with the Noble Gas Lab at the University of Vermont for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology.

• We have collected combined U-Th-Pb geochronologic data and Hf isotope ratios by Laser Ablation ICP Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) at the University of Arizona's LaserChron Center

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