EMSL at a glance

EMSL is DOE's premier molecular sciences laboratory with state-of-the-art instruments, such as powerful microscopes, spectrometers, and a supercomputer. The instruments are used daily to help solve national and international scientific challenges. They are available to biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists, and environmental, materials, and medical research scientists.

Sustainability Features at EMSL

Sustainability is integral to our research and operations at PNNL. We combine our own scientific discoveries with sustainability best practices to achieve optimum research and efficient operations. At EMSL, we:

Electrochemical Purification Laboratory

PNNL scientists developed an electrochemical method for purifying copper, a key material that makes possible radiation detection systems of unprecedented sensitivity. The method begins with the purest copper materials available, and results in the lowest-background copper in the world.

Assembly Laboratory for Ultra-Low-Background Detectors

After the ultra-pure copper is machined into the needed shape, it is taken to the Ultra-Low Background Detector Assembly Laboratory, where detectors like the High-Purity Germanium Detector Array and the Ultra-Low-Background Proportional Counters are assembled. In the process, researchers assemble the copper with other materials, like radiation-detecting elements, to make ultra-low-background radiation detectors. These detectors support a variety of national security and basic science research projects — such as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the search for dark matter, and neutrino double-beta decay.

Ultra-Sensitive Measurements Laboratory

The Ultra-Sensitive Measurements Lab is the only room in the Shallow Underground Laboratory where measurements are made on samples. Low-background measurements are made on a variety of samples, addressing applications that span from environmental age-dating to verifying compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. PNNL has invested seed money through the Ultra-Sensitive Nuclear Measurements Initiative with the goal of producing the next generation measurement capabilities. Learn more from Bob Runkle who leads the initiative.

How to Navigate

Look for symbols embedded on photos throughout PNNL's virtual tour to explore cutting-edge instruments located in our modern laboratories. Pan throughout locations using the arrows.

You may also use the floor plan image to navigate by clicking on the orange dots. You may close the floor plan image at any time by clicking the red "X" in the upper right hand corner.

The last option for navigating the tour is via a drop down menu in the upper right of the tour window. You may select a location from the drop down menu and the tour will transition to that location.