Feature Story: Student collaborators at Spallation Neutron Source chemistry lab prep proteins to take neutrons.
A new complex of laboratories is now open at SNS, providing a flexible, mobile environment where users can work efficiently.
The labs, on the second floor of the SNS Central Laboratory and Office Building, are built with "green" operations in mind, as well as to optimize the available space for researchers' ever-changing scientific needs. With overhead utilities and mobile furniture, the complex's 13 labs allow staff to easily reconfigure the layout of equipment and quickly change an experiment's setup as needed.
"We surveyed more than 900 users on what they needed, and they gave us a wish list," says Chrissi Schnell, the Neutron Scattering Science Division scientific laboratory coordinator.
The lab suite has features such as a cold room, which will be kept at 8°C, outlets and workbenches so that researchers can run equipment for long periods of time, and a furnace closet for solid-state synthesis with a wall with cable management to organize power and gas lines.
The labs also contain standard American Disability Act-compliant fume hoods and safety showers, automatic sliding doors for hands-free access, and a combination of standard and non-standard power outlets suitable for different instrumentation.
The labs provide a controlled environment for testing new instruments before they go on the beam line. SNS staff have also been working with the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences to set up a neighboring lab with various x-ray equipment.
Chrissi and lab staff will be on hand to provide services to the researchers such as chemical management and training. "We are here to meet the needs of the researchers and provide them with excellent customer service," Chrissi says.