TEM-XRD facilities helping researchers across the state answer big questions

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Microscope facility will be part of new Physics & Astronomy and Interdisciplinary Science center

Deep inside the basement of Northrop Hall, in The University of New Mexico’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science, sits a high-tech center attracting scientists to UNM from all across the state. The instruments housed there are helping researchers answer questions and gain knowledge about structures invisible to the naked eye.

TEM-XRD is a facility that works primarily in nanoscience – a field that studies extremely small structures and materials usually less than 100 nanometers in size, down to the atomic scale. For reference, a human hair is between 60,000 and 80,000 nanometers wide. So, to be able to see things on this atomic scale, researchers need extremely sensitive equipment.

“We are unique in New Mexico in being the only academic institution that has this sort of facility,” said Adrian Brearley, professor of earth and planetary science and director of the TEM-XRD facility. “These techniques are applicable in everything from earth, environmental and planetary sciences, materials science, particularly high technology materials, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, biological sciences and much more.”

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