Fe Oxide Lab



The Fe Oxide Lab (Christopher J Lepre, PI) at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of Rutgers University is a NSF-funded facility that uses rock magnetism and spectrophotometry to study how iron oxides are formed, destroyed, and preserved in terrestrial environments.  Principally examined are the minerals hematite and magnetite found in soils, sediments, and sedimentary rock.  Currently, the lab has three main focuses: (1) to determine how the Triassic environments of Pangaea generated continental red beds, (2) to compare iron-oxide formation in the Kenyan rift valley of East Africa to the Triassic-Jurassic rift valley of eastern North America, and (3) to understand the interplay between soils, iron oxide formation, and monsoonal rainfall.  These pursuits ultimately are designed to address questions regarding the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems under a monsoonal climate regime. In particular, the habitats of early theropod dinosaurs and our Plio-Pleistocene hominin ancestors are being studied in order to assess the role that climate may have played in the macroevolution of species.


Cary_60_UV-VisCary 60 UV-Vis

Cary 60 UV-Vis spectrophotometer manufactured by Agilent Technologies.  This machine is coupled with the Video Barellino, which is a diffuse reflectance sensor that can be placed directly upon the sample being measured.  Scans of the entire wavelength range (190 to 1100 nm) is achieved in seconds for survey purposes or the scan rate can be slowed for more precise readings.







 Video Barellino

Remote fiber optic diffuse reflectance accessories allows for accurate placement of the sensor on a ~2 mm target area of the geologic sample. This particular unit is the Video Barellino manufactured by Harrick Scientific for Agilent.  The camera on this sensor projects to the laptop that operates the spectrophotometer.  Snapshots and videos of the sample surface being studied can be captured concurrent with analyses, although not during the actual measurement. 








   Bartington MS2

Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility system. Sensor operates at 456 and 4560Hz for frequency dependent measurements.











  Work stations & Sundries

The FeO Lab has a number of work stations for sample preparation and basic wet chemistry for the separation of iron oxides from geologic samples:

- gravity convection oven (max 450°F/232°C)

- microscopes

- orbital mixers, hot plates & magnetic stirrers

- beakers, flasks, test tubes, etc.

- Dremel 4000 series (1.6 Amp) with cutting jig

- dust & fume extraction hood










For more information please contact:

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Wright-Reiman Laboratories

610 Taylor Road

Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066