The main infrastructures of the HERCULES Laboratory are located in the Vimioso Palace in Évora and include both analytical laboratories and office rooms.
The analytical infrastructure of HERCULES Laboratory comprises 300 m2 of laboratory facilities integrating five laboratories, namely, the Microscopy and Microanalysis Laboratory, the Chromatography Laboratory, the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Materials Characterization Laboratory, the Biodegradation and Biotechnology Laboratory. An important component of the HERCULES Laboratory is the mobile unit – the HERCULES mobile – with equipment for in-situ analysis.
The dedicated state-of-art equipment available at the HERCULES Laboratory makes it unique among the Portuguese Research infrastructures and one of the few in Europe with analytical equipment to perform in-situ and laboratory analysis with capacity for high resolution chemical analysis of both organic and inorganic compounds.
The Microscopy and Microanalysis Laboratory comprises various state-of-art equipment that enables the chemical analysis of microsamples, and includes a variable pressure scanning electron microscope coupled with X-ray spectrometer (VP-SEM-EDS), a Raman microspectrometer, an X-ray microdifractometer (micro-XRD), a micro-FTIR, optical microscopes and a TG-DTA equipment.
The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory includes a Liquid chromatographer with mass spectrometer(LC-MS), a gas chromatographer with mass spectrometer (GC-MS), an Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, coupled to Laser ablation system (LA-ICP-MS) (an equipment unique in Portugal) and an isotope ratio mass spectrometer with elemental analyzer (EA-IRMS).
The Biodegradation Laboratory is equipped to enable the studies of biodegradation agents and processes and the development of new biotechnology based products for application in diagnosis and conservation, and includes a biological clean room, incubation system for microorganisms, new generation sequencer, bioreactors, Master cycler PCR’s, gel electrophoresis systems, imaging system and optical microscopes.
The HERCULES mobile, also unique in Portugal, comprises a set of equipment designed to enable in-situ analysis of artifacts and built heritage, namely, a portable X-ray radiography unit with 150kV and 300 kV sources, an high resolution IR-reflectography camera (OSIRIS), an UV-visible-IR photography equipment, an handheld colorimeter, a portable X-ray spectrometer, an handheld X-ray spectrometer and a portable FTIR spectrometer.