Central Science Laboratory

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis

Sandy Bay Campus, Chemistry Building, Level 4

Most of the work currently carried out in this facility entails the determination of stable isotopes of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur. Generated data is used for resolving problems in a wide range of disciplines, e.g. Geology, Antarctic Science, General Marine Science, Ecology, Physics, Archaeology, Agricultural Science, Food Safety and Forensics, just to name a few.

This facility is equipped with four mass spectrometers, two VG SIRA Series II, one is a Micromass Optima and an Isoprime100 mass spectrometer coupled to an Elementar varioPYROcube elemental analyser. The Elementar system allows the routine C, N and S-isotopic analysis of a wide range of solid biological materials. It also allows the isotopic analysis of small (sub-milligram) sulfide samples obtained by micro-milling sulfide-bearing specimens in polished thick ore and rock sections.
The remaining instruments are set up for the determination of δ13C and δ18O from carbonates after acid digestion, the spatially resolved determination of δ34S after infrared laser assisted combustion and the analysis of δ18O from water and ice core samples using the equilibration technique.

The Facility has two sample-processing lines for the quantitative extraction and cryogenic purification of SO₂ and CO₂ from sulfate, sulfide, graphite and organic carbon, and carbonate minerals.

Contact: Christine Cook Christian Dietz.