Sample Lab

 Equipment at HP-CAT Sample Lab

Lab Manager: Curtis Kenney-Benson
Phone: (630) 252-0495     E-Mail:

Chemicals Available on Site      

Note: Any work in the lab requires registration as an HPCAT user and current posted ESAF approved by APS and HPCAT.

While users are strongly encouraged to arrive with their samples ready to run, HPCAT maintains a  comprehensive sample preparation laboratory for routine loading of diamond anvil cells. At HPCAT we have established support facilities for sample preparation and characterization, including four stereo zoom microscopes, a laser drilling/micromachining system, computer controlled MicroSupport micromanipulator, Glovebox with ultrahigh purity argon atmosphere and micromanipulator, a mechanical micro-drill machine, electric discharge machines and tools for routine DAC operation.  Gas loading of cells is also available through the facilities of GSECARS at APS Sector 13. 

The lab is well equipped with sample preparation and loading tools: needles, tweezers, etc. Nevertheless, users are encouraged to bring their own precision tools for specialized sample handling.

Stereo Zoom Microscopes

All microscopes are based on transmitted-light stands and are equipped with double-gooseneck oblique illumination. The eyepieces on all microscopes can be replaced with either 16x or 40x eyepieces. Additional objective lenses (compatible with all microscopes) include Planapo 0.63x objective with 97 mm working distance (WD) and Planapo 1.6X objective with 19 mm WD.

Leica M165C:

  • 1x Planapo objective, 61.5 mm WD
  • 25x eyepieces
  • 0.73 – 12.0 zoom range
  • coaxial illumination
  • Leica DFC450C CCD camera






Leica MZ6:

  • 1x Achromat objective, 89 mm WD
  • 25x eyepieces
  • 0.63 – 4.0 zoom range
  • + ring illumination