Analytical Geochemistry & Geochronology Facilities

We analyze a variety of materials for elemental concentrations and isotopic ratios. In addition to running geological, oceanographic, and environmental samples, we also commonly analyze synthetic materials, organic matrices, and many other substances for engineers, physicists, and chemists. We operate several different analytical instruments and work with interested users to meet their quantitative needs.

Sample Preparation Facilities

The analytical geochemistry laboratories provide the facilities to prepare geologic, oceanographic, and environmental samples for ultra-trace-level analyses of metals and preparation of ultra-high purity samples for U-Pb, Rb-Sr, and Sm-Nd isotope geochemistry. The clean room complex is equipped with three HEPA-filtered laminar flow stations, two exhaust hoods, quartz and Teflon acid stills, and a Millipore water purification system that consistently delivers water with <1 pg/mL total Pb. Additionally, an automated microwave digestion system (Milestone Ethos) is used for combined acid attack and rapid digestions. Supporting sample preparation laboratories house two regular fume hoods, a special perchloric acid fume hood, and high-temperature muffle furnaces for flux-fusion digestions.

Rock and Powder Preparation Facilities

The rock preparation facilities include several kinds of apparatus for processing samples: crushing (hydraulic splitter, hydraulic crusher, jaw crusher, rock saws, tungsten carbide percussion mortars), powdering (Spex ball mill and Shatterbox, both with alumina and tungsten carbide containers), drying (ovens and freeze-dryer), polishing (lapping films, wheels, abrasives, dedicated reflected light microscope), separating (binocular picking microscopes, sieves, balances, Franz magnetic separator, heavy liquids), and mounting (epoxy, crystal bond, dental resin, mounting tubes).

Additional Analytical Facilities