|Experimental and observational systems
The institute attaches great importance to the construction and management of its laboratories. The institute refers to the operational methods of the world’s leading laboratories, actively explores innovative construction and management schemes, adheres to the integrated concept of “observation - experiment – research”, puts forward the management concept of an “expert-governed laboratory”, and creates effective methods for modern laboratory construction and management. The strategic objectives of the supporting system are to establish fully-opened national experimental research platforms concerning the significant scientific issues based on important scientific research projects, yield data which reach international standards and earn peer recognition through the development of new technologies and methods, therefore making it a responsible popular science base.
The large-scale Public Experiment and Observation Platform contains the Geological Laboratories and Geophysical Laboratories. The Geological Laboratories includes the SIMS Laboratory, NanoSIMS Laboratory, MC-ICPMS Laboratory, EMPA and SEM Laboratory, TEM Laboratory, Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory, Stable Isotope Laboratory, Noble Gas Laboratory, Ar-Ar Geochronology Laboratory, U-series Geochronology Laboratory, Ore-forming Geochronology Laboratory, Fluid inclusion Laboratory; these laboratories may satisfy requirements for material composition, element geochemistry, isotope ratios, isotopic age, and physical property analysis of various types of geological samples. The Geophysical Laboratories are mainly composed of the Seismic Array Probing Laboratory, Space Environment Probing Laboratory, Rock Physical Properties Laboratory, Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Bio-geomagnetism Laboratory, MEMS Digital Geophone Laboratory, and Ocean Bottom Seismograph.
- Laboratory of Geochemistry
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) Laboratory
The SIMS laboratory of IGGCAS houses three ion microprobes, namely the CAMECA IMS1280, IMS1280HR, and NanoSIMS 50L. These facilities allow direct in situ measurement of the isotopic and elemental composition of nearly all the elements in the periodic table from H to U, on both the micro- and nanometric scales. The laboratory plays an important role in the fields of geochronology, geosphere deep dynamics, Earth evolution, cosmochemistry, comparative planetology, mineral resources research, and global change.
The CAMECA IMS-1280HR and IMS-1280 are large-radius double-focusing secondary ion mass spectrometers, both of which are equipped with duo plasmatron ion sources, cesium ion sources, and advanced ion optic systems. The double focusing system is includes a large radius magnetic sector and electrostatic analyzer (ESA), which provides very high mass resolving power (MRP) without significant loss of secondary ion intensity.
The laboratory has installed the only Cameca NanoSIMS 50L in China to date, which is a sophisticated instrument with a uniquely high lateral resolution of up to 50 nanometers for in situ element and isotope analysis. It is also characterized by high sensitivity, high mass resolution and high precision. The advanced establishment of the NanoSIMS lab has considerably enhanced the capability of in situ isotope analysis with the spatial resolution increasing from the Micronscale to the nanoscale. This analytical facility will greatly promote research in space science throughout China, and will play a unique role in the scientific research of the lunar samples which will be retrieved by China lunar exploration missions in the near future.
Multiple-collector (MC) ICPMS Laboratory
The Multiple-collector (MC) ICPMS Laboratory contains state-of-the-art geochemical facilities, i.e. a Neptune high resolution MC-ICPMS (Neptune Plus), a Neptune MC-ICPMS, and an Agilent 7500 ICPMS, equipped with a 193 nm GeoLas laser. With the recent advances in modern isotopic geochemistry, the MC-ICPMS Laboratory has developed a series of analytical and micro-analytical approaches, and trained many staff and students to become excellent technical and academic scientists. Some of the analytical methods which the laboratory has developed are at the international levels, are very innovative, and have been widely using in the Earth and planetary sciences.
Electron Microprobe and Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory
This laboratory is equipped two electron microprobe analyzers, a CAMECA FIVE and a JEOL JXA-8100, and a LEO1450VP transmission electron microscope. This laboratory is capable of performing major and trace element compositional analyses on micro-solid materials, and also provides observations and measurements based on secondary electron images, back scattered electron images and cathodoluminescence.
Solid Isotope Laboratory
The Solid Isotope Laboratory is equipped with three mass spectrometers, namely MAT-262, IsoProbe-T and TRITON-PLUS, and a set of ultra-clean chemical processing rooms with a total size of 200 sq. m. The laboratory focuses on the development of high sensitivity analysis methods for Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Th-Pb and Re-Os isotope systems based on isotope dilution and thermal ion mass spectrometer (ID-TIMS) analysis techniques. These methods are widely used in studies on isotope geochronology, lithospheric evolution, crust-mantle interaction, orogenic evolution, early continental crust formation, and metallogenesis.
Stable Isotope Laboratory
The Stable Isotope Laboratory is installed with isotope ratio mass spectrometers MAT252, MAT253, Delta S and Delta V, and has established eight pretreatment and purification systems for isotopes of different elements. Using these instruments and systems, the laboratory is capable of analyzing stable isotope ratios of C, S, H, O, N, Si and Ar from a range of materials including minerals, rocks, fluid inclusions, soil, water, gases, petroleum, plants and organic compounds.
Rock-Mineral Preparation and Analysis Laboratory
This laboratory possesses two Sequential X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers (AXIOS Minerals and XRF), one Inductive Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (IRIS ICP-OES), two Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometers (Z8000 and AA-6200), one X-Ray Powder Diffractometer (D/Max-2400 XRD), etc. Equipped with varied types of crushing, polishing and slicing machines and sample preparation systems, the laboratory is capable of performing major and minor element analyses on rock, ore, mineral, soil and water samples, phase determination on minerals and semi-quantitative analysis of mineral concentrations on rocks, and other related analyses.
40Ar/39Ar & (U-Th)/He Laboratory
The main instruments in this facility include an MM5400 noble gas mass-spectrometer, an Alphachron MkII He measurement instrument, a X-Series 2 ICP-MS, and associated CO2 laser fusion and 213 and 193 nm laser ablation systems. The advanced and innovative purification preparation line was developed by the members of the laboratory, and runs fully automatically. Aimed at accurate dating and mid-to-low temperature (650-70 oC) thermochronology, the research group has achieved important fruits in a number of fields such as geological dating, deep dynamics of the Earth, orogenic evolution and thermohistory, neotectonics and morphology, mineral and fossil resources, and diffusion mechanisms of noble gas. The laboratory is a well-known research platform throughout the world.
Electron Microscopy Laboratory
The electron microscopy laboratory (EML) is a service and research unit of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS), and is open to scientists from universities, government and industrial laboratories. The Laboratory was established for the purpose of conducting fundamental research relating microstructure and chemical composition characteristics to the fields of geochronology, geosphere deep dynamics, Earth evolution, cosmochemistry, comparative planetology, mineral resources etc.
The laboratory currently maintains an SEM (LEO1450VP), dual-beam FIB/SEM system (Zeiss Auriga Compact), and TEM (JEM-2100). The three facilities are all equipped with Energy Dispersive Spectrometers (EDS), which can provide composition information. Students and researchers can use these facilities once they have acquired basic training.
Transmission electron microscopy (JEM-2100) and Dual-Beam FIB (Zeiss Auriga Compact)
Uranium Series Chronology Laboratory
The Uranium Series Chronology Laboratory at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has facilities for precisely measuring 238U–234U–230Th isotopes and dating carbonate samples from a wide rage of surface environments, including speleothem, coral, tufa, lake authigenic carbonate and carbonate nodules in loess sequences for applications in oceanography, paleoclimatology, paleoenvironmentology and archeology.
The laboratory has a Thermo-Fisher-Scientific Neptune-Plus, a multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS), which provides high precision measurements for uranium series dating using isotopic dilution techniques. The Neptune-Plus has a mass detection range of 4-310 amu (atomic mass units), with a highest resolution (5%, 95%) of ≥ 8000.
Fig.1. Neptune Plus MC-ICP-MS
Equipped with 9 Faraday cups, 3 SEMs, 4 CDDs and 1 RPQ accessory, the machine can optimize the settings of U-Th isotope measurements for different samples. Aridus II is used to reduce solvent interference, improve signal stability, and increase sensitivity by up to 4-10 times. The injection rates of Aridus II can be set to 50, 100 and 200 μL/min, according to sample U-Th concentrations.
The laboratory has clean rooms for both chemical separations and instrumental analysis, including air filtering and water purification systems.
There are six fume hoods and one central working bench in the ultra-clean chemistry room. Fume hoods provide ISO Class 6 conditions, and the remainder of the room is better than ISO Class 5. The temperature of the laboratory is set at 21±2°C with a stability of <2°C/h, and a relative humidity of 55±3%.
Fig.2. The ultra-clean chemical room
The water purification system includes a pretreatment system, the Milli-Q Elix-35 and the Milli-Q Advantage A10. The system has a 200 L tank, which can produce 15 MΩ of water in 35 L/h for a continuous supply of 18.2 MΩ water. The U-Th blank of the water is low and suitable for U-series work.
- Geophysics Laboratories
Seismic Array Laboratory
The Seismic Array Laboratory is a large observation system for array seismological experiments, which is supported by the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The primary functions of the laboratory are to collect seismic data of earthquakes and man-made sources, by means of portable seismic arrays in the field, and to manage the collected seismic data indoors. The laboratory may provide instrumental and technical support for portable seismic arrays aiming toward the crustal and upper-mantle structures of the Chinese continent and the structure of the Earth’s deep interior, as well as seismic data collaboration. The laboratory currently has 332 sets of broadband seismometers, including 232 sets of imported ones and 100 sets of domestic ones. With its professional technicians and equipment, the laboratory is able to provide services related to the inspection, maintenance and development of seismometers, as well as standard processing of seismic data.
Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration
The Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration consists of an integrated observation chain and a data center, which long served as a stable experimental platform for scientific research of space physics at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS). The space environment integrated observation chain includes four basic stations, i.e. Mohe, Beijing, Wuhan and Sanya, and two extended stations, Arctic Yellow River and Antarctic Zhongshan. These stations are distributed along the terrestrial meridian for observing the high, middle and low latitudes of terrestrial space. Under the support of the solar-terrestrial space environment observation network construction of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Meridian Project, more than 40 sets of international advanced instruments have been installed at the various stations. Research in the field of space environment disturbance and structure is carried out using geomagnetic fields, and middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere measurements from the chain. In addition, the data center also has responsibilities such as data collection, monitoring, processing, storage, analysis and publication services, and so on. Its missions include (but are not limited to) the following: mapping the space environment over China in near real time; sharing scientific data with the International Real-time Magnetic Observatory Network, World Data Center, Data Sharing Infrastructure of Earth System Science, Meridian Project, and other research institutes; and providing high quality data for basic and applied basic space physics research. These contributions greatly improve the ability of space environmental research over China.
Paleomagnetism and Geochronology Laboratory (PGL)
The PGL is a world-class first-rate laboratory. It consists of Superconducting Rock Magnetometers 2G-755R and the 2G-760 U-Channel System, a paleointensity oven, spinner magnetometer and thermal demagnetizer, which are installed in a non-magnetic room. The PGL is also equipped with the Variable Field Translation Balance System, Alternating Gradient Magnetometer, and Magnetic Properties Measurement System. The major research areas include rock magnetism, magnetostraitigraphy, environmental magnetism and archaeomagnetism.
France-China Bio-mineralization and Nano-structure Laboratory (BioMNSL)
The BioMNSL laboratory at IGGCAS is dedicated to studying the formation, magnetism and application of biogenic magnetic nanoparticles. Their research focus also includes developing a better understanding of how the geomagnetic field influences various organisms. It possesses state-of-the-art facilities, such as a custom-designed shielded room and Helmholtz coils, a Bacteriodrome, COY anaerobic chambers, and an AKTA protein purifier.
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