Stable isotope laboratories

Stable Isotope Instrument - MAT251

The Earth Environment Stable Isotope Laboratory at RSES has a number of mass spectrometer facilities dedicated to particular types of analyses for δ13C and δ18O.  The facilities support multiple studies of geologic, climatic and environmental processes taking place at the earth’s surface.

We specialize in the microanalysis of corals and speleothems, as well as other biogenic carbonates and dolomites, using Kiel carbonate devices coupled to Finnigan/Thermo stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers.

We also have the capacity to measure carbon isotopes in small organic and inorganic samples using a combustion EA-mass spectrometer.

Instrument 1: Finnigan MAT 251 + Kiel I microcarbonate preparation device

The 251 is an older dual-inlet stable-isotope ratio mass spectrometer that produces very high measurement precision on ‘larger’ samples of pure carbonate weighing between 120 and 220 micrograms.

External precision:  δ13C (±0.04‰);  δ18O (±0.06‰)

Instrument 2: Thermo MAT 253 + Kiel IV microcarbonate preparation device

The 253 is a new dual inlet / continuous flow mass spectrometer that produces very high precision on ‘smaller’ carbonate samples in the range of 40-180 micrograms. It can be configured to run different weight ranges where sample sizes within batches are highly variable.

External precision:  δ13C ±0.04‰ and δ18O±0.06‰

Access for external users for microcarbonate instruments is subject to availability of instrument time and a staff member to supervise.

Contact: Dr Mike Gagan

E: in the first instance to discuss your project and access.

Instrument 3:  Sercon combustion EA-MS for organic and inorganic carbon

External precision: δ13C (±0.08‰) and δ15N (±0.15‰)

Contact: Dr Stewart Fallon

E: in the first instance to discuss your project and access.

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Updated:  29 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSES Webmaster/Page Contact:  RSES Webmaster