In cooperation with four departments (Earth Sciences, Chemistry) in the Faculty of Science, and departments (Mechanical and Aerospace, Electrical) in the Faculty of Engineering, the Department of Earth Sciences is host to a Panalytical Empyrean Theta-Theta Diffractometer, with X'Celerator detector and PreFIX interface allowing scanning and 1D mode analysis, and a high-temperature Anton Paar (< 1200oC) stage. The facility allows for:
- Compositional analysis and quantification of crystal/molecular structures and mineral/compound abundances of natural and synthetic materials;
- Real-time thermal (<1200oC) analysis to show changing composition and crystal/compound structure that will be used to replicate artificial thermal and geothermal conditions that influence natural and synthetic material stability, and is relevant to geological systems, reaction of organic material, and industrial/aerospace metals; and
- Analysis of thin films of synthetic material to evaluate compositional and microstructural integrity. This latter application is relevant in a diverse set of fields: aerospace industry; gas turbines and reactors; electronic, photovoltaic and ionic devices; and polymer compounds in thermal optic devices. The modular configuration of the research equipment creates an excellent training environment for graduate students and faculty with regard to experimental design, operation, and analysis. The set-up is designed as a user-funded and run facility.
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