Analytical Infrastructure

The main infrastructures of the HERCULES Laboratory are located in the Vimioso Palace in Évora and include both analytical laboratories and office rooms.

X-ray Diffractometer Analysis

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.

Working on Diffractometer

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.

Full list of equiments

Microscopy and Microanalysis Instrumentation

  • VP-SEM-EDS HITACHI 3700N with X-ray spectrometer BRUKER Xflash 5010SDD
  • Microspectrometer Raman HORIBA Xplora
  • Imaging micro-FTIR BRUKER Hyperion
  • Optical microscope LEICA DM2500M
  • Optical microscope LEICA DM2500P
  • Inverted optical microscope MOTIC
  • Epifluorescence microscope MOTIC BA-410
  • Stereozoom microscope LEICA M205C

Microscopy and Microanalysis Instrumentation

  • LA-ICP-MS Agilent 8800 TriQuad
  • IR-MS Thermo delta v advantage
  • EA-Thermo flash 2000 ht

Organics Materials Laboratory


Biodegradation and Biotechnology Instrumentation

  • New generation sequencer Illumina Myseq
  • DCA PCR Biorad
  • Electrophoresis system Biorad
  • DNA image acquisition equipment Biorad
  • Cell analyser Millipore Muse
  • Microorganism incubation systems VWR
  • UV/Vis microplate Thermo Multicscan Go

Materials Instrumentation

  • TG-DTA NETZSCH STA 449F3 Jupiter
  • X-ray Microdifractometer BRUKER Discovery
  • Benchtop EDXRF Bruker S2PUMA

Mobile Unit - HERCULES Mobile

  • High resolution infrared reflectography OSIRIS with InGaAs detector
  • Digital radiography (pulse X-ray source SCANNA XR200 -150kV- and XRS3-300kV- with digital scanner SCANNA CR35)
  • Photographic equipment (visible, UV and IR)
  • Handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer Bruker tracer III/IV SD
  • Portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry Amptek (Mini-X source and X-123SDD detector)
  • Portable FTIR spectrometer Bruker ALPHA (with reflection, transmission, and ATR module)
  • Handheld colorimeter/visible spectrometer Datacolor Mercury 3000
  • Fibre optic reflectance spectrometer (FORS) aseq lr1
  • Laser scanner 3D (FARO) for architectonic structures
  • Laser scanner 3D (NextEngine) for artefacts