LSU will soon be the host for the world’s only 3-D, full-color infrared chemical imaging instrument.

The device will provide critical information for biomedical, biological, chemical, chemical technology and processing, and cultural heritage questions. The National Science Foundation has provided the money to move the high-resolution instrument from the former Synchrotron Radiation Center in Madison, Wisconsin, to the LSU Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, known as CAMD, off Jefferson Highway near Towne Center.

The InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging instrument, or IRENI-II, can create chemical images at the micrometer scale where chemical reactions occur. A micrometer is one-one hundredth of the diameter of a strand of hair.

The device has a wide range of applications, such as information about the acceleration of chemical reactions using catalysts for the petrochemical industry, according to LSU. Faculty and industry will be able to use the instrument at CAMD by 2017.

“What CAMD offers is unique. There are also a lot of opportunities here because of the local chemical industry and LSU faculty,” said Carol Hirschmugl, physics professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, who designed and built the instrument in Wisconsin.

Most synchrotrons use one infrared beam. Hirschmugl’s design uses 12 beams and captures images with a sensitive infrared camera.