This is an archive of information released in the past.

Disclaimer: It may contain broken links or outdated information. Some parts may not function in current web browsers.
*Visit for the latest information.


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency:JAXA
  • contact us
  • Japanese


Last Updated: March 30, 2007

Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF)

A Mach-Zehnder (MZ) interference microscope enables precise measurements of growth conditions. Various options are available.

The SCOF has an amplitude modulation (AM) microscope and is equipped with two wavelength interference microscope to simultaneously measure changes in morphology and growth conditions (temperature and concentration).
Researchers can freely design experiment-unique cartridges. Interfaces for temperature control and measurement, pressure control and measurement, control of the cell stage, evacuation, and N2 gas supply are available. A Michelson interference microscope and Dynamic Light Scattering are also available as options.


(A) MZ Interference Microscope
The MZ interference microscope employs two wavelength light sources and can simultaneously measure distributions of temperature and concentration in a solution.
(B) AM, Polarizing, and Bright-Field Microscopes
Amplitude modulation (AM), polarizing, and bright-field microscopes can observe crystal shapes, surfaces, etc.
(C) Options
(1) Dynamic Light Scattering (2) Fluorescence Decay
(3) Reflecting Spectrophotometer
(4) Absorption Photometer
(5) Michelson Interference Microscope

Cell Cartridges

Cell cartridges with standard dimensions of 220 mm in diameter and 65 mm in height are available.
Temperature control (-10 to 220 deg .C), pressure control (1 to 147 MPa), and atmosphere control (vacuum or N2 gas supply) are possible.


SCOF supports "tele-science" operation by monitoring growing crystals. Experiment parameters can be changed by sending commands from the ground.

Basic Specification

Item Specification
Magnification x2, x4
Light source LD and solid-state laser diode (λ=532 nm, 780 nm)
Phase resolution More than 0.2 λ
Spatial resolution More than 3.1 μm (x4), 7 μm (x2)
CCD image sensor size 1/2 inch
Magnification x2, x4
Light source LED (λ=660 nm)
Phase difference resolution More than 0.2 λ
Spatial resolution More than 4.2 µm
Direction of illumination Transmitted or Refracted (switchable)
CCD image sensor size 1/2 inch
User Interface
Temperature control
Peltier element (4.2 A Max/ch, 13 A Max/12 ch)
Temp. Measurement
Thermistor (standard or high-precision measurement),
Thermocouple (K, J type)
Pressure control
1 to 147.1 MPa (Note: Pressurizing hardware will be prepared and designed by user or user integrator)
Pressure measurement
0 to 147.1 MPa (Precision: ±1 %FS)
Gas evacuation
101 kPa to 0.13 Pa
N2 supplied pressure
0 to 827 kPa
(1) Dynamic Light Scattering. (2) Fluorescence Decay.
(3) Reflecting Spectrophotometer. (4) Absorption Photometer.
(5) Michelson Interference Microscope.  
Copyright 2007 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Site Policy