Laboratory of Matter out of Equilibrium

In our Laboratory with a 300m2 surface, we study hydrodynamic instabilities in free-surface flows, such as the Faraday instability and the generation of non-propagative hydrodynamic solitons and their interactions. We also study the effect of noise and fluctuations in turbulent flows and fludized granular systems, wave turbulence and noise-induced surface wave localization. In addition, we perform acoustic characterization of materials using resonant ultrasonic spectroscopy (“in-house” built RUS system using a SR870 spectrum analyzer and NI-PCI M Series acquisition card and PCI-GPIB system).

Lastly, we study the fluidized nature of vibrated quasi-two dimensional granular systems (2 electromechanical VTS 80 shakers, 1 electromechanical VTS100 and B&K 4824 shakers, and their respective power amplifiers). For these studies we possess a high speed camera (IDT X3), which is used for PTV analysis and general image analysis purposes, and also we are implementing an “in-house” PIV techinque. We also use a new local surface wave measurement technique using capacitive sensors developed by phase-sensitive detection (4 SR830 lock-in amplifiers).

We have recently implemented a microfluidics fabrication room and laboratory facilities, with an optical table, oven, optical microscope, chemical cabinet, spin-coater and digital camera.

Surface Physics and Nanomaterials Lab 

Major facilities
  • Deposition systems:
  1. Ultrahigh vacuum chamber with ion and turbomolecular pumps and base pressure 30 nPa. This system includes a rest gas analyzer (0-300 AMU), total pressure ionization gauge. The chamber is connected to the analysis chamber by a 1 meter long magnetic transport system, allowing sample transference in vacuum.
  2. Linear e-beam evaporator for 6 crucibles (TELEMARK) coupled to the XPS system. Leak valve available to control gas introduction from atmosphere to 10-11 mbar ; sample holder to deposit from -196 °C (liquid nitrogen) to 300 °C.
  3. Vacuum evaporators (diffusion pumps)
  4. Ultrahigh vacuum chamber, with turbomolecular and ion pump, equipped with a pulsed electron beam ablation system.
  5. Preparation chamber for nanomaterials via inert gas condensation technique with He, O and H lines available
  6. High pressure autoclave for hydrothermal preparation of thin films
  7. Sample transport system, self constructed, allowing transportation of samples from the preparation chamber to the XPS analysis chamber with no exposition to the air.
  • Ovens with controlled atmosphere: N2, O2, H2 ; minimum temperature 100 °C.
  • Characterization techniques:
  1. XPS-Auger-LEIS system (Physical Electronics model 1257); 4keV Ion gun, with Ar-Ne-3He gas supply; Load lock with magnetic transport mechanism and turbomolecular pump
  2. Sample holder with theta movement for AR-XPS
  3. AFM-STM system (Omicron Gmbh)
  4. Crystallography Lab: (a) X-ray diffractometer D5000 to perform standard scans for polycrystalline samples. Sample holder for textured material characterizations (phi-scans, rocking curves and unlocked scans); also detector available for grazing incidence measurements. (b) X-ray diffractometer D8 with area detector.
  5. Superconducting magnet up to 6 Tesla. There is a helium recuperation line and helium liquefactor, plus several dewars.
Other facilities
  • Keithley 617, 614 and 182 electrometers, 3 lock-in amplifiers, Boonton 72BD
  • Capacitance meter, IEEE-488 interfaces, Keithley DAS-1600 digital-analog
  • Acquisition cards, etc
  • 28 liters ultrasonic bath
  • Ar-filled glove-box
  • Optical microscope
  • RF sputtering system available at the department of material science
  • Access to JCPDS files, including up-to-date powder diffraction files
  • 200 kV (HR)TEM available in the campus. Its service must be contracted (*)
  • TGA-DSC system available in the Mater. Sc. Dept (TAQ50). Service must be contracted (*).
  • Free access to sheet resistance measurement setup available in Materials Science Dept (*).
  • SEM-EBSD installed at the University of Santiago. Its service must be contracted.
  • Collaboration with other Chilean institutions allows us using spectrometric ellipsometry, in-situ Raman spectroscopy (Pontificia Universidad Católica) and sputtering and AFM coupled with Raman spectroscopy (Universidad Católica del Norte).
(*) Upon collaborations the access to these facilities may be discussed.

Laboratory for Robust Optical Phenomena (LAFER)

Constructed recently (2012), it is located at the basement of the DFI building, with a surface of 20 m2. It has a 1×2 m2 optical table with actuators to reduce vibration, a V2 green laser (Verdi 2, CW, 532 nm, monomode), a probe red laser (Thorlabs 24 mW, CW, 630, monomode), 6 CCD cameras with motorized capabilities, 1 Spatial Light Modulator (Holoeye, 400×720 pix, Transmission), 1 microscope with a mounted CCD camera, 4 power stations to control and analyze data, and optical devices, mounts, splitters, polarizers and lenses (up to 80k USD in optics with a wide range of properties) to create new experimental setups (including a nonlinear optical valve with nonlinear feedback including a fiber bundle).

Currently, in this laboratory there are implemented: a liquid crystal light valve with optical feedback, a dye-doped liquid crystal cells under intense rays of light, and cells with carved electrodes.

Mechanical workshop

Equiped with two lathes, two milling machines, drills, TIG-welding and spot-welding.
There are two qualified operators, one of the familiar with vacuum and cryogenic technologies.

Computational clusters

Presently, besides several distributed workstations, the Physics Department has a parallelizable cluster for exclusive use. The cluster with 96 cores of Xeon 5504 CPUs allows for sequential computations and shared or distributed memory parallelism. Also, the DFI has access to a large cluster for intensive parallelism with 528 cores in a IBM iDataPlex machine.

These clusters have been used to make simulations of dense granular systems at large hydrodynamic times (3), spin dynamics in nanostructures (2), quantum and classical transport in heterogeneous media (2), diffusion in bacterial baths (1), and nuclear collisions starting from nucleon-nucleon interactions (1). In parenthesis it is indicated the number of students that have done MSc or PhD thesis using extensive numerical simulations in the past 5 years.


More information on its use and access / Más información sobre su uso y acceso

Laboratory of Crystallography