New lab additions: XRD, microscopes

May 4, 2016

New hardware and software in Whitaker Lab promises to further research in both nanomaterials and metallurgical analysis.

The first is the Panalytical Empyrean Xray Diffraction Unit (XRD), a platform for the analysis of powders, thin films, nanomaterials, and solid objects. The XRD is the only detector that can be used as a point, line and area detector. It also features a unique mounting method of optics and stages that enables the diffractometer to be reconfigured via positioning in three dimensions with a precision in the order of microns. The XRD is managed by Nick Strandwitz, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh.

The second new addtion, the Zeiss Axiovert, is an inverted materials microscope featuring upright laterally correct images with no need to prepare specimens with a metallurgical levelling press. A broad spectrum of contrasting techniques is available, with the ability to quickly change them in reflected light (brightfield, darkfield, polarization, DIC, and fluorescence).

The third addition is the AZ100 stereoscope. This instrument features magnifications from 5x to 400x, effectively combining the advantages provided by stereo zoom microscopes and compound microscopes. It has a smooth zooming mechanism and allows the user to continuously switch magnifications -- extending from macro to micro observation of the same specimen.

Lehigh's microscopy suite has also been enhanced with the acquisition of Buehler's OmniMet Advanced image analysis software and Grain Size module, providing point-and-click measurement options, built-in analysis scripts, and user programmable analysis scripts.

The microscopes are managed by Laura Moyer, Manager of Metallography, Light Optical, Microscopy, and X-ray Diffraction in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.