Research Facilities

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Research Facilities

Environmental Sample Analysis Laboratory (ESAL)

New in 2015 and leveraged on CAICE’s partnership with ThermoFisher Scientific with support from UC San Diego, the new Environmental Sample Analysis Laboratory (ESAL) is a research facility at UC San Diego is a hub for designing new detailed chemical analyses of complex environmental samples.  ESAL (pronounced like “easel” — the facility is the platform for the scientist as an easel is the platform for a painter) is home to a growing suite of high-end analytical instrumentation, the centerpiece of which is a Thermo Obitrap Elite hybrid ion-trap orbitrap mass spectrometer, with analytical and nano LC separation systems coupled to the front end.  The lab also currently contains both single quadrupole (Thermo ISQ) and triple-quadrupole (Thermo TSQ 8000Evo) gas chromatograph/mass spectrometers (GC/MS), a Thermo UltiMate 3000 2-dimensional HPLC, a Dionex ICS-2100 ion chromatograph.  Most separations instruments are deployed on moving platforms within the lab to enable creative “hyphenation” to other techniques and to enable innovative approaches to understanding chemistry in complex matrices.  ESAL is staffed by a full-time lab manager who contributes actively to CAICE research and analytical method development.

CAICE Fabrication Facility

Located in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego, this large facility is home to both research and educational efforts.  A graduate-level course on Instrument Design and Fabrication is taught within this space, utilizing National Instruments ELVIS II prototyping systems for electronics experiments and project testing.  The Fabrication Facility is also capable of supporting development of major research instrumentation, including a full machine shop with computerized numerical control (CNC) mill and lathe, staffed by an expert mechanician.

CAICE Teleconferencing Facility

The hub of CAICE activities and communication between institutions, the Teleconferencing Facility is fitted with a computer controlled video and tele-conferencing system, including two 80″ displays to permit sharing video and graphics simultaneously.  All furniture within the facility is on castors, allowing the setup to be optimized for each activity.

Hydraulics Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Hydraulics Laboratory contains two air-sea interaction facilities.  The centerpiece of CAICE activities, a 33 m linear glass wave channel with a depth of 0.5 m has been utilized in understanding the properties of nascent sea spray through spontaneous breaking of wave packets.  With generous support from the Scripps Inst. of Oceanography Director’s Office, this channel has been fully replaced in 2015 with updated electric drive for the wave-making paddle, allowing this system to be cleaner and more precise.  The Wind Wave Channel, at 44.5 m long and a water depth of 2 m, allows for large-scale production of waves and aerosol.  It is affixed with a wind generator allowing for the production of sea spray by wind shearing, and could be retrofitted for detailed sea spray composition studies in the future.

Central Microscopy Facility, University of Iowa

The Central Microscopy Facility houses a wide range of microscopy instrumentation utilized for studying properties of atmospheric aerosols, including a micro-Raman spectrometer, Atomic Force Microscope, Transmission Electron Microscopes, Scanning Electron Microscopes, and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer.  The electron microscopes are also capable of performing Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis.

San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)

Originally founded as an NSF Supercomputer Center, SDSC is now an organized research unit within UC San Diego.  Home to several supercomputers, including the Triton Resource, intended to be a data-intensive computing system particularly for University of California researchers, and Trestles, a 100-teraflops system introduced to the NSF-funded XSEDE program in 2010.  SDSC also houses a unique supercomputer named Gordon, which utilizes large amounts of flash memory rather than spinning hard disks, making it ideal for addressing data-intensive problems.

Molecular Mass Spectrometry Facility, UC San Diego

The Molecular Mass Spectrometry Facility at UC San Diego, open to users from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, houses five mass spectrometers.  Many of these systems have multiple ionization sources, ranging from electron ionization (EI), chemical ionization (CI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI), and fast atom bombardment (FAB).

  • Bruker Biflex IV Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-ToF) Mass Spectrometer
  • Thermo Finnigan Traceplus Gas Chromatograph – Mass Spectrometer
  • Thermo Finnigan MAT 900XL Magnetic Sector Mass Spectrometer
  • Micromass Quattro Ultima Triple Quadropole Mass Spectrometer
  • ThermoFinnigan LCQdeca Mass Spectrometer

California Center for Algae Biotechnology

This research center, a collaboration between many academic institutions across San Diego, contains two separate algal growth facilities, allowing for mass production of algal species.  CAICE collaborates with Cal-CAB on studies of the impact of biological organisms on sea spray.