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Description of facilities, equipment and resources available for projects.

Condensed Matter


The GL has extensive, open access facilities to address problems in geobiology, stable isotopes, organic geochemistry, and high-pressure science.

  • Large capacity refrigeration units (2), five freezers including a Fisher Solvent storage freezer and –80 C Freezer
  • Labconco freeze drier for drying large and small volume liquid or solid samples
  • Shimadzu UV-visible scanning spectrophotometer and StellarNet Fiber optic portable UV-Vis spectrometer
  • Analytical balances (6) for weighing samples, including a Sartorius Microbalance
  • Fisher Isotemp programmable furnace and forced air convection ovens (2) for preparing stable isotope or samples of organic matter for analysis
  • Refrigerated centrifuges (Beckman GS-15R), high-speed benchtop centrifuge (Sorvall), microcentrifuges for preparing biological specimens

Organic Geochemistry

  • Varian gas chromatographs (3400) equipped with FID, NPD, and electron capturedetectors for separation and analysis of organic molecules
  • Hewlett Packard high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with fluorescence detector for reverse phase liquid chromatographic separation of organic molecules
  • Hewlett Packard gas chromatograph (HP6890) interfaced with quadrupole mass spectrometer (HP5972) for molecular characterization
  • Agilent GC-MS with autosampler
  • CDS 1000 Pyroprobe with heated interface for pyrolysis GC/MS and GC/FID analysis
  • Solid-state NMR with probes for measuring 13C, 15N, 31Si, and H NMR in solidsamples,
  • Shimadzu gas chromatographs for complete gas phase analysis
  • Waters LC-MS-MS system, a compact system relying on Ultraperformance LC linked to a tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer.
  • ASE (accelerated solvent extraction) system with LabConco solvent drier system for preparing lipid samples.

Stable Isotopes

For Stable Isotopes studies, we have:

  • Infrared CO2 laser fluorination system for analysis of oxygen isotopes in silicate,phosphate and oxide whole mineral grains
  • Finnigan MAT 252 mass spectrometer for C, H, N, and O isotopes
  • Finnigan MAT 253 isotope-ratio mass spectrometer for measuring the four isotopes of S
  • Ultraviolet excimer laser fluorination system for in situ analysis of 16O/17O/18O insilicate, phosphate and oxide minerals
  • UV laser plus CO2 laser system for laser fluorination of sulfide minerals for δ33S, δ34S, and δ36S
  • Delta + XL mass spectrometer with Gas Bench for analyzing carbonates, a gas chromatographic combustion interface for compound specific analysis of organic molecules for C, H and N, and a high temperature pyrolysis unit for analysis of O and D/H in inorganic and organic materials. Thermofisher GC TRACE and GC interface for compound specific H, C, and N analyses.
  • Delta V isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled to an elemental analyzer for organic analyses of C, N, and S and to a Varian GC for isotopic analysis of gases and C isotope ratios in organic compounds. Elementar vario Micro-CUBE Elemental Analyzer for simultaneous C, N, and S isotope measurements.

Molecular Biology and Microbiology

  • Axon 4000B Microarray reader for measuring sample reaction on microarray chips
  • Labsystems microplate reader for enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISA)
  • PAGE gel electrophoresis and blotting apparatus units for macromolecular proteinanalysis
  • Ciphergen Protein chip reader for high molecular weight compound analysis, specifically proteins
  • Bioprobe field ATP Luminometer for enumeration of microbes in soils, sediments, and rocks in the field
  • Anaerobic chambers (2) for microbial growth
  • Cepheid Real-time, quantitative PCR and 2 PCR robocyclers for analysis of DNA and RNA
  • Arrayit, Spot Bot personnel array printer for protein and DNA assays
  • Agilent 2100 Bioanalyser Lab on a Chip design for instantaneous analysis of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Field molecular biology laboratory equipped for extracting DNA and running identification


We have several clusters at the Geophysical Laboratory for development work and medium-sized simulations, including a new cluster with 544 cores consisting of AMD Magny-‐Cours 6134  processors as well as nVidia Tesla S1070‐400 GPU computing systems for quantum Monte Carlo computations. Our large scale computations are primarily performed at national facilities, to which we have suitable internet connectivity.


  • Olympus BX61 Fluorescence Microscope with complete imaging
  • Inverted microscope for imaging DAC
  • Witec α-ScanningNear Field Optical microscope. Containing confocal Raman mapping capability, Atomic Force microscope, near-field fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging
  • Field emission gun Scanning Electron Microscope for nanoscale imaging of rocks, fossils, and biological samples
  • JASCO MicroFTIR/microRaman microscopes (to be delivered in 2008)



  • 3 solid-media, high pressure apparatus
  • 2 multi-anvil, high-pressure apparatus
  • 7 cold-seal, externally-heated apparatus
  • 1 internally-heated, gas-media apparatus
  • Bell-Mao type internally and externally heated diamond anvil cells
  • Bassett type Hydrothermal diamond anvil cells
  • Externally heated, diamond-windowed cell for in-situ, high-pressure and high-temperature fluid studies
  • 6 1-atm vertical quench furnaces (to 1700˚C), 3 equipped for gas mixing
  • 1 1-atm vertical quench furnace (2000˚C)
  • Hi-temperature cells, for in-situ studies of melt and crystal structure at temperature and ambient pressure
  • Micro-FTIR spectroscopy
  • Micro-Raman spectroscopy
  • MAS NMR spectroscopy
  • Mossbauer spectroscopy

High Pressure

A broad range of high-pressure resources are available. These include:

  • High-temperature reactor device with flow-through capacity and complete computerized control for conducting hydrothermal organic synthesis experiments
  • Diamond anvil cells
  • Hydrothermal laboratory with pressure/temperature vessels (5-10)
  • Piston cylinder laboratory for mantle mineral experiments


Planetary Science


  • Insertion Device Beam Line

Two simultaneously operating branches for

  • (2) X-ray spectroscopies: absorption, emission, x-ray inelastic and nuclear resonant inelastic scattering
  • Bending Magnet Beam Line

Two simultaneously operating branches for

  • (1) Polychromatic single crystal diffraction

  • (2) Monochromatic powder diffraction and spectroscopy
  • Laser heating
  • CO2 System operational and YLF System in plannin
  • On-line and off-line capabilities
  • Ancillary Facilities
  • Sample preparation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Brillouin spectroscopy under development

HP-NSLS/Brookhaven National Laboratory

  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • X 17B3 Monochromatic and polychromatic powder diffraction
high temperature (laser heating)
low temperature (liquid helium cryostat)
  • X 17C Monochromatic and polychromatic beam
powder diffraction
single crystal diffraction
  • Infrared Spectroscopy
  • U 2A Completely redesigned and upgraded user facility for infrared measurements between 10 and 10,000 wavenumbers