Information about the Independent Instruments of Geological Sciences


Contact: James Metcalf


The Alphachron is an integrated 4He degassing and measurement system. Samples are loaded into an ultra-high vacuum sample chamber where they are heated with a diode laser to release the He. The sample gas is spiked with 3He, cleaned using a gettering system, and measured with a quadrupole mass spectrometer.

Contact: Eric Ellison


Raman spectroscopy is a fast, simple technique that characterized the molecular structure of diverse materials spanning minerals (thin sections & powders), biological samples, fluids, dissolved gases, and much more. Our system is optimized for fast hyperspectral Raman imaging of sample surfaces (areas up to a few square millimeters) at spatial resolutions down to about 1 micron. We are equipped with 532 nm and 785 nm lasers as well as high and low resolution diffraction gratings. Confocal optics allow for depth profiling, thin layer characterization, and fluid inclusion characterization. Additional laboratory resources include a Zeiss stereomicroscope, sample preparation area, and powerful data processing workstation computer with advanced multivariate statistical analysis and image processing capabilities. 

Microscope capable of Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy in reflection and transmission modes with spot sized of around 100 microns squared. The microscope is equipped with an InGaAs detector and the attached FTIR bench (Nexus 670) uses an MCA detector for bulk transmission measurements. 

Contact: Julien Allaz


Electron microprobe analysis is a sensitive technique for non-destructive quantification of the chemical composition of in situ micrometer volumes of solid material (minerals, alloys, ceramics, glass, etc.). The department of Geological Sciences was awarded a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant by NSF in Summer 2014 to purchase a new electron microprobe, a JEOL JXA-8230 equipped with LaB6 electron gun (PIs K.H. Mahan, J.M. Allaz, and G.L. Farmer). This new instrument will replace the aging JEOL JXA-8600 installed in 1988, and will offer superior quality analysis, both in term of precision and accuracy. This new 5-spectrometer instrument will considerably enhance our spatial resolution (beam size ca. 0.2-0.7 µm) and our analytical capabilities, notably in term of trace element analysis, thanks to many large-area monochromators.