A wide range of equipment and facilities are needed in order to investigate the complex interactions of many-body systems. We have well equipped laboratories, with a range of powerful tools that enable experiment and investigation of these systems at a range of length and time-scales.
Alongside plenty of physics laboratories the department has one laboratory dedicated to chemical preparation of samples. This has two fume hoods for the preparation of samples that may be chemically harmful. For the mixing of samples, it has a variety of devices ranging from a slow shaker through to a high-speed overhead stirrer and samples can be heated using an assortment of ovens and oil baths. Samples may also be dried using vacuum ovens which vent into the fume hoods or a freeze drier.
The optical microscopy and spectroscopy labs provide a wide range of instrumentation options from basic wide field microscopy to fast confocal imaging and fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy. Several specialist solutions such as fast confocal imaging while simultaneously measuring the rheology of soft matter samples have been implemented in house. This instrumentation is complemented by expertise in analysis techniques such as single particle tracking and differential dynamic microscopy. External access to some of these facilities is available through the European Soft-Matter Infrastructure (EUSMI).
In addition, we have Containment level 1 and Containment Level 2 labs which are used by the research staff here who are working with biological agents, principally bacteria and bacteriophages. These labs contain all the basic equipment required for growing and harvesting bacteria in volumes of up to 1 litre.
Researchers within ICMCS also can have access to two computing clusters. Both are maintained by the School's Computing Services Team. Job management and scheduling is managed using the Sun Grid Engine. Staff and students associated with the CM-CDT can use the CDT’s computer cluster, which was purchased and installed in 2015 and serves researchers from Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, and St Andrews. It is hosted and maintained at the University of Edinburgh. It comprises eight compute nodes with 64 CPU cores each. All CDT staff and students are invited to make use of the cluster. For those based at the University of Edinburgh, please contact Andreas Hermann to be added to the cluster user list. For those based at St Andrews or Heriot-Watt, please contact Dr Andreas Hermann with your name, group affiliation, and preferred email address to have an account generated for you.
A second cluster with five additional compute nodes with 48 or 64 CPU cores each is open to all staff and students within ICMCS. Access is managed by School's Computing Services Team.
For details on how to use the clusters, follow the instructions on https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/PandAIntranet/School+Compute+Cluster.
The following is a list of some of the equipment available in the ICMCS labs:
- A range of rheometers
- Cryo FIB-SEM
- Differential Dynamic Microscopy (DDM)
- Fluorescence lifetime spectroscope and imaging
- Confocal Rheo-imaging system
- Confocal microscopes
- Automated epi-fluorescence microscope
- pH and conductivity meter
- Laser diffraction particle size analyser
- Oscillating drop tensiometer
- Confocal laser scanning microscope
- Lipsome extruder
- Multi-wavelength fluorescence excitation system
- Various custom built imaging modules
- Freeze dryer
- Fluorescence spectrophotometer
- Density meter
- Probe sonicator
- Various lab essentials (balances, spin coater etc)