Environmental Sample Analysis Laboratory (ESAL)

ESAL photo
New in 2015 and leveraged on CAICE’s partnership with ThermoFisher Scientific with support from UC San Diego, the new Environmental Sample Analysis Laboratory (ESAL) is a research facility at UC San Diego is a hub for designing new detailed chemical analyses of complex environmental samples.  ESAL (pronounced like “easel” — the facility is the platform for the scientist as an easel is the platform for a painter) is home to a growing suite of high-end analytical instrumentation, the centerpiece of which is a Thermo Obitrap Elite hybrid ion-trap orbitrap mass spectrometer, with analytical and nano LC separation systems coupled to the front end.  The lab also currently contains both single quadrupole (Thermo ISQ) and triple-quadrupole (Thermo TSQ 8000Evo) gas chromatograph/mass spectrometers (GC/MS), a Thermo UltiMate 3000 2-dimensional HPLC, a Dionex ICS-2100 ion chromatograph.  Most separations instruments are deployed on moving platforms within the lab to enable creative “hyphenation” to other techniques and to enable innovative approaches to understanding chemistry in complex matrices.  ESAL is staffed by a full-time lab manager who contributes actively to CAICE research and analytical method development.

CAICE fabrication facility

CAICE Fabrication Facility

Located in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego, this large facility is home to both research and educational efforts.  A graduate-level course on Instrument Design and Fabrication is taught within this space, utilizing National Instruments ELVIS II prototyping systems for electronics experiments and project testing.  The Fabrication Facility is also capable of supporting development of major research instrumentation, including a full machine shop with computerized numerical control (CNC) mill and lathe, staffed by an expert mechanician.

CAICE teleconferencing room

CAICE Teleconferencing Facility

The hub of CAICE activities and communication between institutions, the Teleconferencing Facility is fitted with a computer controlled video and tele-conferencing system, including two 80″ displays to permit sharing video and graphics simultaneously.  All furniture within the facility is on castors, allowing the setup to be optimized for each activity.

Main Lab

The main lab houses the majority of the Prather group equipment and includes a wet lab and portables lab.



A secondary lab on SIO campus includes a fluorescence microscope, two cryofreezers and an ice nucleating particle spectrometer.