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The Stanford Fission Track Laboratory was first established in 1991. Key facilities include:

  • the Mineral Separation Laboratory for separating apatite and zircon
  • specialized fission track mounting and polishing facilities
  • a custom-configured, research-grade Zeiss Axioskop microscope with computer-automated stage for track observation and data collection
  • specialize software for data analysis and modeling

Access to FT Equipment by Other Groups

Some of the specialized equipment in the FT Laboratory may be useful to workers in other fields.  These include:

  • Our Zeiss microscope with computerize scanning stage. The stage can locate, drive to, and return to specific targets with an accuracy of 3 micrometers. The location data (XY) can be transferred to electron microprobes or other instruments. The microscope has magnifications of 25X to 1600X and transmitted and reflected light sources. It does not currently have polarized light capabilities.
  • The microscope has a drawing tube and digitizing system that can measure the sizes of objects with a precision of about 0.15 micrometers. This capability has been largely superceded by improved microscope video camera systems, but may still be useful for specialized applications (like FT work) where large numbers of objects need to be located and/or measured rapidly.
  • Mounting, grinding and polishing facilites. We have dedicated grinding and polishing equipment that other groups have used for thin section preparation, fossil preparation, etc. Because we need a high degree of cleanliness for our own work, we would need to discuss proposed uses. We also have thin section epoxy (Petropoxy) and a separate microscope for use in preparing wet or messy slides.

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