Thin Films Lab At SFA you can study the universe atom by atom…

THE THIN FILM AND MICROSCOPY LABORATORY is equipped with a Digital Instruments scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and an atomic force microscope (AFM) shared jointly by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Biology. The laboratory is also outfitted with a JEOL-JSM-6100 scanning electron microscope (SEM) that provides the ability to directly image the microstructure of solid-state and biological samples. The laboratory possesses the necessary ancillary equipment for SEM of biological samples. There is also an energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) system that can be used with the SEM to perform nondestructive elemental analysis of sample composition. Some of the current areas of research include the fabrication of thin films by electrochemical deposition under potentiostatic or galvanostatic control. In particular the study of multi-layered thin films for use in solar cell technology and the study of genomic DNA molecules by STM and AFM on various substrates is being studied. Collaborative projects have begun between the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Biology, and Chemistry.


Observatory or you can study the universe star by star...

THE ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY hosts a 41-inch Cassegrain reflector and an 18-inch Ritchey-Chrétien reflector under separate domes.  Both of these telescopes are computer controlled and used in research on photometry of eclipsing binary star systems, asteroid searches, and extrasolar planet transits.  The 41-inch telescope is currently operated from an on-site control room, and work is underway to control the telescope from remote locations such as the downtown campus.  Instruments include photometers, a spectro­photometer, photographic cameras, and videotape.  A recent addition to the observatory complex is a 10-foot dome housing a 10-inch telescope used in the search for asteroids.



Low Temperature Lab or explore the universe with quantum mechanical waves

THE SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND LOW TEMPERATURE LABORATORY has a set of liquid nitrogen/ liquid helium Dewars, three liquid helium cryostats, three high-field superconducting magnets, a temperature controller, flux flow detection equipment, a vacuum evaporation system for depositing thin metal films and supporting instrumentation.  Studies are conducted on superconducting devices, super­conductive tunneling and Josephson tunneling between multiply-connected superconductors.


Optics Lab At SFA you can study the universe photon by photon...

THE ENVIROMENTAL SENSING AND QUANTUM OPTICS LABORATORY is equipped with an atomic spectroscopy lab, a spectrophotometer for visible to near IR wavelengths, and various lasers. Students can study the quantum mechanical nature of atomic systems using coherent light. Students can also investigate the status of various ecological zones by examining the interaction of light with the environment through measurements of optical properties such as absorption, scattering, transmission, and polarization states.