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Analytical Capabilities


The Isotope Geology Laboratory is a comprehensive trace element, radiogenic isotope, and U-Pb geochronological facility directed by Dr. Mark Schmitz and managed by Dr. James Crowley (U-Pb geochronology) and Dr. Darin Schwartz (trace elements and tracer isotopes).

Our component laboratories include mineral separation, clean lab analytical chemistry, major and minor cation and trace element analysis of aqueous and dissolved solid materials by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (solution ICPMS), trace element and U-Pb isotopic analysis by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS),  and high-precision U-Pb, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and common Pb isotopic analysis by isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS). The menu at left contains links to the instrument platforms and analytical protocols we have developed for each of these methods.

Our particular expertise in the Isotope Geology Laboratory is U-Pb geochronology of accessory minerals including zircon, baddeleyite, monazite, xenotime, titanite, rutile and apatite, using both high-precision isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) and in situ high-throughput laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). We offer a unique set of both in situ and isotope dilution age analysis services, applied either separately or in tandem where applicable. Potential users are encouraged to contact Dr. Mark Schmitz or Dr. James Crowley for costs, sample requirements, and turn-around times for these services. Student research and training opportunities in both of these techniques are also available.

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