Sensitive Instrument Facility

Ames Laboratory’s Sensitive Instrument Facility features state-of-the-art electron microscopes housed in a vibration- and static-free environment that allows their capabilities to shine, and sample preparation labs that take scientific testing from start to finish on site.

In cooperation with Iowa State University and with funding from the US Department of Energy, Ames Laboratory's state-of-the-art characterization SIF houses current and next-generation electron beam instruments. The uniquely constructed facility enables the study of structure and chemistry at the atomic scale by isolating instruments from thermal, vibration, and electromagnetic interference. Unique details include two-foot thick concrete floors with built-in vibration dampening layers; aluminum-plate lined bays and fiberglass reinforced concrete for electro-magnetic isolation; and vibration-free heating and ventilation. These features help ensure the instrumentation achieves the highest possible resolution.