Environmental Particle Analysis Laboratory

Imaging and chemical plus mineralogical characterization of particulate samples, including sediments, soils, aerosols and cells. Sample preparation available.

Location: EIT 1007

To inquire about these facilities, please contact:

Shuhuan Li

Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 32820

Office: EIT 1003

Elemental/CHNS analyser

Photo of CHNS
  • Elementar vario EL cube
  • Determines the percentage of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), and sulfur (S) elements in a solid or liquid sample
  • Requires minimal sample preparation
  • Provides micro-analysis of samples in the lower microgram range with no compromise
  • Semi-macro analysis for CHNS in up to 1 g soil
  • Equipped with two detectors: a Thermal Conductivity Detector (TCD) and a Non-Dispersive Infrared Detector (NDIR).

X-ray diffractometer (XRD)


  • PANanalytical Empyrean II
  • Analysis of powders, thin films, nanomaterials, slurries and solids
  • Performs mineral identification and quantification
  • Maximum usable range (depending on accessories) -111°< 2θ <168°; 2θ linearity equal or better than ±0.01°
  • Fully ceramic X-ray tubes manufactured by PANalytical under cleanroom conditions; designed for 60 kV operation, allowing optimal performance for Mo and Ag sources

Table-top electron microscope with EDS system 


  • [Shared facility: Ecohydrology, Blowes, Ptacek, Kendall]
  • Hitachi scanning electron microscope TM-3000
  • Bruker QUANTAX 70 Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS) provides qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of all solid materials
  • Magnification: 15-30,000 x
  • Minimum resolution 20 µm
  • Maximum viewing area: 35 mm x 35 mm
  • Maximum specimen size: 70 mm
  • Maximum specimen height: 50 mm
  • Detection range: boron (5) to americium (95)
  • Three EDS modes available: spot, line and mapping

Sieve Shaker

sieve shaker

  • Quiet, electromagnetic vibratory action for small samples (3'' diameter sieves)
  • 0 to 100% amplitude control for fine particle separation
  • Switchable tapping action

Grinding Mill


  • Effectively reduces samples ot sub-micron sizes suitable for x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence analysis

Light and epifluorescence microscope

Zeiss light microscope

  • Carl Zeiss Axio Scope.A1 HAL 100-FL-LED with AxioCam CM1
  • Universal use; objective lenses = 20x, 40x, 100x, 200x
  • Can do both transmitted light and reflected light applications, including bright field, dark field, phase contrast, epifluorescence and polarization (LED illuminator), etc.
  • Comes with internal digital camera and ZEN software
  • Several attachments available 
Inverted Microscope


Inverted microscope

  • Carl Zeiss Primo Vert with AxioCam ERc5s
  • Designed for use on cell cultures
  • Features built in camera and compact design