Spectroscopy Facility

The Spectroscopy Facility at RES is a collection of state-of-the-art instrumentation including a Horiba LabRAM Soleil Raman FTIR spectroscope, Molecular Vista VistaScope infrared photo-induced force microscope, Olympus Vanta M portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and Malvern Panalytical Aeris benchtop XRD.

Our research spans the range from solid earth evolution to climate processes, and from 21st century resources to climate change impact.

We operate iconic and state-of-the art instrumentation supported by highly trained professional staff, offering an unrivalled world-class research environment.


The XRD facility provides mineral and phase identification and quantification services, crystal structure refinements, and mineral analytical advice to RSES, the wider ANU community and external customers. The Empyrean Series 3 multipurpose XRD accommodates various diffraction geometries, such as micro-XRD and Bragg-Brentano, and a range of sample formats (powders, solids, slurries). 

Malvern Panalytical Empyrean Series 3 multipurpose X-ray diffractometer with PIXcel3D detector (0D, 1D, 2D modes), CoKalpha radiation (point or line focus)

  • Powder XRD
    • Bragg-Brentano geometry  (incoming optic: BBHD)
    • Transmission geometry
    • Capillary spinner
    • Spinning stage
    • Automatic sample changer (45 samples)
  • Micro-XRD and solid samples
    • Footprint: 50-100 µm  (incoming optic: focussing lens)
    • Programmable xy+z stage
    • Alignment camera
  • Slurry-cell
    • In situ monitoring of crystal growth in liquid medium in transmission mode
  • Irradiated area (beam footprint)
    • Spot analyses:                     50-100 µm
    • Powders and large solids:  2-20 mm length, 8-20 mm width

The Avaatech core-scanner performs non-destructive analysis of elements from Mg through to U, on split sediment cores and smoothed surfaces of stalagmites, corals, rocks, etc, as well as on discrete samples. Down-core resolution is 10 mm to 0.1 mm, with a 15 to 1 mm beam-width.

  • The scanner is also equipped with a digital Colour Line camera that records images with visible or UV light. This allows high‐resolution images to be exactly cross‐referenced with the elemental scans. It also means that a path can be defined in any direction across the sample surface simply by clicking the mouse on the core photo, and then a series of XRF measurements are taken along that path.