Department of planetary Sciences
Planetary Science Institute
Dr. Kuhlman’s research focuses on the nanoanalysis of exotic materials of interest to planetary science and astrobiology, AKA nanogeology. She has worked to characterize the different types of contamination on the precious samples from the Genesis mission and develop novel methods for cleaning them without disturbing their cargo of implanted solar wind. She also uses plasma source ion implantation (PSII) to realistically simulate solar wind implantation in minerals on airless bodies in the Solar System. She utilizes many nanoanalytical techniques to fabricate and analyze samples, such as the focused ion beam (FIB), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), atom probe tomography (APT), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Dr. Kuhlman also applies these techniques to the study of rock varnish, a potential analog for manganese-rich rock coatings on Mars, which host unique microbial communities on Earth.
Asteroids, Earth, Mars, Moon, Small satellites, Solar particles/Solar wind | GENESIS, Phoenix Mars Lander | Mission science team | Astrobiology, Atom Probe Tomography, Atomic Force Microscopy, Education/Public Outreach, Field Work, Focused Ion Beam, Gamma-ray spectroscopy, Geology, Geomorphology, Mass spectroscopy, Mineralogy, Neutron detectors, Numerical modeling, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy, Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy, Space-based observing, Spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy | Cameras