Category Archives: Technical

Award for work using micro manipulator

Geophysical Laboratory’s Zachary Geballe Receives Seventh Postdoctoral innovation and Excellence Award

The Geophysical Laboratory’s Postdoctoral Associate Zachary Geballe has been honored with Carnegie’s seventh Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Award. These prizes are made through nominations from the departments and are chosen by the Office of the President. Geballe, in Viktor Struzhkin’s lab, was awarded the prize for his scientific innovations and community service to the Broad Branch Road (BBR) campus.

Zack works on developing methods to measure the heat capacities of metals and silicates at high pressures. This work applies to developing new materials and studying the deep interiors of planets.   He developed a pioneering technique to measure heat in a diamond anvil cell (DAC) by using a method called the alternating current 3rd harmonic method. The work was published in two recent papers in the Journal of Applied Physics. Additionally, he devised new, sophisticated sample loading procedures into the DAC with micro-manipulator equipment. The new approach has changed the way the group loads very small samples for high-pressure experiments.

The nomination stated that “Zack is much more than just a very skillful and dedicated experimentalist, he is also the leader of our weekly Bread and Cheese seminar with research updates from our own scientists and discussions of high-impact papers from other groups around the world. “

Additionally, Zack was a founding organizer of postdoc-led poster sessions at the BBR campus (see photos and details from 20152016, and 2017), which have featured the work of nearly all the researchers and sparked new collaborations, approaches, and teamwork.

Carnegie President Matthew Scott remarked, “This cycle of nominations was particularly strong and it was a difficult choice. Zack’s exceptionally creative approaches to scientific innovation and his extraordinary volunteer efforts have made a significant contribution to the sense of community at BBR, making him the high caliber of researcher and colleague envisioned for the PIE awards to recognize. I congratulate him on his accomplishments.”

Micro Support Users Meeting – Wrap up

We had the first North American Micro Support Users Meeting on Thursday, May 10th at  Argonne National Laboratory.  This was an opportunity to hear about how users have been using their Micro Support system, to learn about new developments coming down the road, and to share experiences and techniques.

Here are some highlights from the event:

Vitali Prakapenka

Our host Vitali showed off GSECARS can create conditions equivalent to the pressure-temperature range of the Earth’s deep interior.  The center of the process is the Diamond Anvil (in gray below) Micro Support’s Axis Pro micromanipulator is a key tool in loading this cell for high-pressure studies.

Here Vitali is illustrating the size of the culet that is the target of our operation and how smaller culets enable measurements at higher pressure compared to larger culets of the past.

 Christopher Snead 

NASA curator Cristopher Snead encounters astromaterials of all sizes. Due to the cost and difficulty of these missions, the samples must be handled with great care and delicacy.  The Micro Support Axis Pro micromanipulator enables handling of these samples – the capabilities of the Axis Pro to operate inside a glovebox is critical for future NASA astromaterial work.

Ross Hrubiak

Ross works at HP-CAT and provided an overview of all the services that the lab has available along with information on where their line is located on the synchrotron.

Steve Barnett

Steve provided an overview of major tools available with the Axis Pro system and had important news about upcoming enhancements for the Micromanipulator including a new version of the operating compatible with windows 10.

Announcements for Micromanipulator

  • New higher resolution camera. This will allow for magnifications above 3200X.
  • New operating software. The new software operates under Windows 10.
  • New User Interface (UI). The whole UI is changing to improve the experience. This includes placing your working image in the center of the screen and moving some menues to the sides.
  • Navigation Map. The Navigation Map is now extended to allow for tiling a 10 x 10 set of images to provide a larger area for visual imaging..


After a quick pizza/salad lunch, we moved to the Building where HP-CAT and GSECRS are located.   In this building, we had three systems set up in different locations where attendees could learn different techniques and try out different tools that were available.

Overall this was a highly successful event and we are hoping to have a similar Users Meeting in 2019.



Luceo Fullauto StrainEye LSM-9000S

Luceo Fullauto StrainEye LSM-9000s

Fullauto StrainEye LSM-9000S is a fully automatic 2D-measuring device which measures retardation values and the direction of a slow axis in a transparent body having strain and birefringence therein. LSM-900s is equipped with 6 times optical zoom lens.

In order to measure direction and birefringence, conventionally the visual observation type polariscope using the Senarmont method is used. As well, our in-house manufactured product, Semiauto Senarmont which performs semi-automatic operations with the analyzer only manually rotated is also used.

The Senarmont method is an inspection method for measuring retardation quantitatively. An operator rotates the analyzer so that brightness of the part to be measured changes from the brightest state to darkest state, and measures its retardation by rotating the analyzer angularly. However, this conventional type has a problem such as the difference in decision of the brightness due to the difference in the condition during the measurement and also due to the difference in skill of each operator. Moreover, in Semiauto Senalmont, although the accuracy of measurement has improved from the visual observation type, the area to be measured is defined to the specific small portion in an image.

This Fullauto StrainEye makes it possible to start measuring immediately by only putting a sample on the polarizer. Therefore, retardation values and the direction of the slow axis can be measured easily. The measurement result is not influenced by each pixel of differences of personal skill. Not only a specific part is not subjected to the measurement but all of each pixel of a built-in CCD camera measures the entire detecting part. Since the direction of retardation and a slow axis are 2D-displayed on a monitor, those direction states are recognized immediately by the operator.

This instrument is suitable for measuring small samples since possible picture area is optionally variable from 60mm x 60mm to 10mm x 10mm based on being equipped with x6 magnification optical zoom lens for taking images.

This device is connected with a PC, and it is therefore feasible to save not only the measured data but also the observed image data easily.

With the use of super-luminescent LED as a light source, this detector is designed for long life and low power consumption. Accordingly maintenance and replacement of the light source as well as running costs can be reduced or dispensed with all together.


Size W200☓D280☓H595mm
Weight 11kg
Circulary polarizing plate size W70☓D70mm
Sample placement space height 0~70mm
Inspection Method Rotating analyzer method
Setting Wavelength 590nm
Repeat accrary σ=1nm
Measurement area size Varible (60×60~10×10mm)
Effective pixels 1100☓1100
Other Light Source:high-luminanceLED
PowerSorce:INPUT 100~240VAC 50/60Hz  OUTPUT 24VDC 1.5A
Accessory:Main body cover, AC Adapter (GS40A24-P1J)
The latest movie:H28 製品技術大賞歪検査器「フルオートストレインアイ」Movie Fullauto StrainEye LSM-9000LE

Micro Support Users Meeting – May 10, 2018

This workshop will bring together scientists from throughout the U.S. to share best practices in their micro-manipulation work.

Through this Workshop, users will learn about valuable techniques from others who practice the art and discuss future developments that will allow for extensions of their work/research.

Attendance at the Micro Support Users Meeting is Free

The event is a satellite meeting of the
2018 Advanced Photon Source | Center for Nanoscale Materials Users Meeting.  Main Meeting attendance is not required to join the Micro Support Users meeting.


For more information click here.

Or to register, please contact:

Steve Barnett
Barnett Technical Services
Phone: 916-897-2441