Scientific equipment: photography

One of the advantage of working in a laboratory, is the possibility to photograph unusual pieces of equipment and to play with the different measuring tools available.

I usually enjoy making metal-related photography, where the piece of equipment shine in an strange and unique way. I also like to photograph light-induced processes.

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Fig1: inside a time of flight tube.

Figure 1 is such exemple, where  I position myself at the entrance of the time of flight tube, when the chamber is open. A time of flight tube is a type of spectroscopy that measure the influx of electrons from a source (a gaz excited with synchrotron radiation) relative to their energy. To guide the electrons in a specific path, copper coils surround the flight tube, creating a magnetic flied once a current is applied. We used this equipment at Uppsala University, in the group of professor Raimund Feifel. Time of flight spectroscopy is used to analyze core electrons (the electrons closer to the nucleus of an atom) of simple and complex molecules (my project was to analyze the buckyball or C60 molecule).

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Fig2: a BBO crystal (top right) is used to change the incoming light wavelength (non-linear optics).

Figure 2 is a nice exemple of optical table, where non-linear optics, in the shape of a BBO crystal (top right of the photo), is used to change the wavelength of the incoming laser beam. We use this setup in the laboratory of professor Masaaki Ashida, at Osaka University. The laser has a fixed wavelength, which for excitation purposes, need to be changed depending on the material observed. In this experiment, CsPbI3 perovskites were excited with two beams of different wavelengths (transient induced bleaching/absorption).

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Fig3: coating chamber.

Figure 3 is simply a coating chamber, where targets of materials are vaporized onto the sample. The coating on the window made a strong eerie reflection. This equipment is used in the laboratory of professor Yasufumi Fujiwara at Osaka University. It is used mostly to make simple gold and other precious metal coatings and thin films.

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Fig4: lens point of view.

Figure 4 is a photography of a lens used in this setup to focus the light emitted by a Xenon lamp onto a sample. I like to experience with lenses, as the light plays strongly with it. This optical table is part of a setup used to analyze transmission patterns. It is situated in the Ångström laboratory, at Uppsala University.

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Fig5: sample chamber of an FTIR,  fisheye setting of a GoPro.

Figure 5 is a photography taken using the fisheye setting of a GoPro camera. This is the sample chamber of an Infra-Red Fast Fourier Transform (FTIR) spectroscopy system (IFS66vS FTIR spectrometer, Bruker). The window on the right side is an opening fron which the infra-red light shine on the sample (set on the rotary stage on the left), the second window on the left is the exit for the infra-red light, after passing through the sample, where an infra-red detector is positioned. The mirror on the back of the chamber was used to illuminate the sample with an ultra-violet light. This is a typical setup to monitor the photocatalytic process on a sample (here titania, or TiO2), where a molecule which vibrates at a certain frequency, is excited via the infra-red beam, and with increasing ultra-violet light exposure, is decomposed in smaller molecules, which vibrates at different frequencies. This setup is situated in the Ångström laboratory, at Uppsala University.

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Fig6: plasma treatment of equipment.

Figure 6 is a plasma cleaning system (Femto plasma, diener), to ensure the total cleanness of equipment prior use and after use. It was used at the Ångström laboratory, at Uppsala University.

I encourage you to take photographs of your equipment, it is useful to recall setups, machine names and such, but also it is a useful tool to show others your work environment. There is several science photography contests any one can apply to, if you have nice photographies, do it!

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