On October 19, the Chinese Academy of Sciences released the latest research results on the Chang'e 5 lunar scientific research samples. These are the first batch of research results on the Chang'e 5 lunar scientific research samples led and independently completed by Chinese scientists.

Academician Li Xianhua, one of the main accomplishers of the results and a researcher at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the “Institute of Geology and Earth”), said: “All research is done by us. It fully demonstrates China's scientific research strength and innovation capabilities."

  This time, the Institute of Geology and Earth obtained a total of 5 grams of samples.

How are these samples studied?

Let us look at the story behind Lunar Soil Research.

How to ensure the "purity" of the sample as much as possible

  Yang Wei, a researcher at the Institute of Geology and Earth, said: "Lunar soil will be polluted when exposed to the air. In our research, we must avoid pollution as much as possible, use non-destructive analysis methods or ultra-micro destructive analysis as much as possible, and also have high spatial resolution capabilities. To ensure the accuracy of the research results."

  Yang Wei introduced to reporters the 1,000-grade ultra-clean room of the Lunar Sample Clean Room of the Institute, in which 3 sets of glove boxes filled with high-purity nitrogen were placed.

The lunar soil is stored, processed and analyzed here.

In order to avoid air pollution, scientific researchers operate in a glove box.

  "We need to control the gases, reagents and solid materials that come into contact with the sample." Yang Wei introduced, because the water content on the moon is extremely low and there is no oxygen. "We need to ensure that the water and oxygen content in the glove box is less than one part per million. One." His tone was a little regretful, "However, as long as the samples are studied, there will inevitably be losses, whether it is when sorting lunar soil particles or when using instruments for analysis."

The sample is finer than the dust, how to find the "most story" lunar soil

  The lunar soil sample is more like a handful of dust, "The lunar soil obtained by Chang'e 5 is very thin, with an average value of only 60 microns, which is thinner than the lunar soil obtained by the Apollo landing on the moon." Li Xianhua stretched out his palm and breathed, " Then the breath is gone."

  Every grain of lunar soil is precious, but for scientific research, each grain of lunar soil studies different problems. How can one find the "most story-telling" lunar soil grain?

Li Xianhua said, for example, for the most important dating minerals in geological science research, “we use the radioisotope method for dating, and the best sample is the zirconium-containing particles. How to pick the most suitable sample becomes the key.”

  Academician Wu Fuyuan, director of the Institute of Geology and Earth, introduced the "secret weapon" in the institute-technician Ma Hongxia.

She has a pair of unique skillful hands that can quickly and freely manipulate every sample as thin as dust.

"Our institute has always been engaged in geological research. Such technicians are trained in our institute and are also the'babies' in the institute. Now many scientific research institutions at home and abroad have to borrow from us when they encounter the problem of separating samples." The appropriate particles are selected and prepared into a good sample target, and the following things can be left to the instrument to do.

How to make the best research on the same sample

  The lunar samples are extremely precious. Not only must they be borrowed and returned, but also to minimize losses.

Li Xianhua said: “At that time, our team borrowed 3 grams of samples and returned 2.85 grams. With only 0.15 grams consumed, we completed the first batch of research tasks.”

  How to make the best results with the fewest samples and stand out from the competition?

  Wu Fuyuan said that this benefited not only from the scientific accumulation of the Institute of Geology and Earth, but also from the "technology first" experimental platform.

"Geology is a discipline closely related to experiments. We have established a universal experimental platform-the public technology center, and purchased instruments such as ion probes and nano ion probes." The platform condenses a stable team. The team of engineers, during the research process, scientists and engineers closely combined, invented unique technologies and methods, and adjusted the instrument to the best condition. In Wu Fuyuan's words, it is to "use the instrument to its limit".

Li Xianhua said: "For example, during the dating process, we improved the key hardware of the ion probe instrument to achieve accurate measurement of beam spots less than 3 microns. It can be said that few companies in the world can achieve this accuracy, and we are in a leading position in the world. ."

  It is reported that the second round of applications for the lunar samples of Chang'e 5 has begun, and Lunar Land will tell us more about the mysteries of the moon.

Wu Fuyuan said: "As a scientific and technological worker, it is a blessing to be able to participate in lunar research! Chinese scientists are ready, and we are full of expectations for the future!"

(Our newspaper, Beijing, October 19, by our reporter Qi Fang)

Keywords: chinese academy of sciences, samples, research results, academician li xianhua, scientists, results, research, researchers, institute of geology and earth, accomplishers, chang'e 5, batch, researcher, earth, the story behind lunar soil research