TA2 Facility 2 – VU (Exo)Planetary Interior Simulation Laboratory (PISL)
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TA2 Facility 2 – VU (Exo)Planetary Interior Simulation Laboratory (PISL)

Average visit: 5 days

The (Exo)Planetary Interior Simulation Laboratory (PISL) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is dedicated to studies of the behaviour of planetary materials at extreme conditions.

Available equipment includes:

  1. two piston cylinder presses, capable of subjecting cubic-millimeter-sized volumes of minerals, metals and/or magma to pressures between 0.4 and 3.5 gigapascals and temperatures up to 1873 K;
  2. An 800 ton multi-anvil press, capable of generating sample pressures between 3 and 10 gigapascals and temperatures exceeding 2000 K;  
  3. A gas mixing furnace that can subject samples to either highly reducing or oxidising conditions at temperatures up to 1873 K.

The facility is used to constrain geochemical processes in the interior of the Moon [1,2], Mercury [3], Mars [4], asteroids [5], and rocky exoplanets [6].

Individual experiments take between a couple of minutes and 3 days depending on the specific research topic. Users will be trained in sample preparation as well as instrument use, and the lab features in-house starting material and run product preparation facilities. 

[1] Lin et al. (2019) Geochemical Perspectives Letters 20, 14-19 [2] Lin et al. (2016) Nature Geoscience 10, 14-18 [3] Steenstra et al. (2019)  Icarus 335, 113408 [4] Steenstra et al. (2018)  Scientific Reports 8, 7053. [5] Steenstra et al. (2020)  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 269, 39-62. [6] Hakim et al. (2018) Astronomy & Astrophysics 618, L6.


Prof. Dr. Wim van Westrenen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands. w.van.westrenen@vu.nl

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