Analytical laboratory facilities
Laser Ablation ICP-MS
The LA-ICPMS laboratory consists of an NWR 193 UC laser ablation system and an Agilent 7900 quadrupole mass spectrometer. The laboratory was optimized to provide exceptional performance for the analysis of fluid inclusions and silicate melt inclusions in minerals; however, it provides top performance for the analysis of a very broad range of materials. Other typical application areas include the in situ determination of the trace and major element composition of minerals, U-Pb dating of zircons and other accessory minerals, trace element mapping, depth profiling, characterization of the composition of non-geologic materials from material, engineering and life sciences.
Amongst many other traits, the lab provides exceptionally low detection limits and outstanding imaging quality.
Micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer
The lab consists of a Bruker Tensor II Infrared Spectrometer attached to a Bruker Hyperion 3000 Infrared Microscope equipped with single element mid and broad band liquid nitrogen cooled MCT detectors and a 64×64 element Focal Plane Array (FPA) detector. In addition, an Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) objective with Ge crystal is also available. The laboratory is optimized for the analysis of small samples, and recently proposed methods are currently being tested for the determination of CO2 and H2O concentrations in silicate glasses and silicate melt inclusions without the need of doubly polished sections. Additional accessories include: 15X and 36X condenser and objective lenses and a Linkam FTIR600 heating-freezing stage. The FPA detector allows rapid mapping of the spatial distribution of IR active molecular species in a large variety of materials.
Additional analytical instrumentation is available managed under the “Departmental Analytical Facilities”, including a brand new JEOL JXA-8230 electron microprobe amongst several other instruments (SEM, XRF, XRD).
Microscopy and micro-thermometry
This facility includes a well-equipped Olympus BX-51 petrographic microscope as well as Linkam TS1400xy and Linkam FTIR600 heating-freezing stages. The microscope is capable of high-quality image acquisition using a QImaging Micropublisher 5 MP camera and an extended version of the Olympus Stream Essentials software. In addition, we have access to a second setup by Prof. Ed Spooner including another Olympus BX-51 microscope and a Linkam THMSG-600 stage.
High pressure-temperature experimental facilities
Molybdenum Hafnium-Carbide pressure vessel assemblies
The Molybdenum Hafnium Carbide (MHC) alloy vessel assemblies are capable to reach temperature and pressure up to 1150 oC and 300 MPa. Therefore, this facility is ideal for studying upper crustal magmatic and high-temperature hydrothermal processes. The furnace-vessel assembly is suspended on a rotating axis allowing rapid drop quenching/heating, as well as in situ fracturing of quartz during the experiment for fluid inclusion synthesis.
Currently, two pressure vessel assemblies are operational and the third one is under construction.
Other experimental petrology equipment
In addition, we have access to Inconel 917 and Rene41 cold-seal pressure vessels, two piston cylinder apparatuses, high temperature box furnaces and two gas mixing furnaces in Prof. James Brenan’s experimental laboratory and an induction furnace in Prof. Grant Henderson’s laboratory.
Sample preparation laboratory
The experimental and analytical labs are supported with a fully equipped sample preparation lab which includes:
- A Stratorius Genius ME235S analytical balance with 0.015 mg precision
- A Lampert PUK U3 welder
- A Nikon binocular microscope with variable magnification, transmitted and reflected light
- A large volume drying oven
- A fume hood
- A K.D.Unipress WS-22 wire saw with 30 microns-thick wire
- An in house-built variable-speed micro-saw equipped with 0.15 mm thick diamond cutting wheels
- Eppendorf automatic micropipettes with variable ranges
- Mitituyo micrometer with 1 μm accuracy and precision
In addition, the department maintains a sample preparation laboratory with various size rock cutting saws, petrographic thin section preparation and rock crushing facilities and a magnetic separator.
Also, we have access to drill presses, lathes, a grinder and a band saw.