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Stable Isotopes

The Stable Isotope Laboratory is a recently established education, research, training and service facility within the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University (Rooms 5110-5112, Environmental Research Building).  This isotope ratio mass spectrometer facility serves research and teaching needs for stable isotope ratio users principally within the Departments of Geosciences, Biological Sciences, and Anthropology.

Our analytical flexibility and competitive rate structure promote stable isotope services for research and industry and foster collaborations with other universities as well as federal, state and local agencies.

The BSU SIL houses two main instruments:

  1. A 2010 ThermoFisher Delta V Plus continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled with ConFlo IV/EA, TC/EA, and GasBench II.  This instrumentation allows measurement of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur (δD, δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and δ34S) on a diversity of natural samples (carbonate, phosphate, organic plant, animal, soil, sediment, water, and atmospheric gas). We accommodate both natural abundance and isotopically enriched samples for all the species mentioned above.
  2. A 2011 Los Gatos Research Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer, which is a Cavity Ring-Down (spectroscopic) instrument for the measurement of the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in liquid water samples.

The SIL also maintains extraction lines and sample preparation facilities for numerous materials including carbonates, phosphates (both CO3 and PO4 components), plant and animal water, bulk organic matter, collagen, chitin and keratin, and cellulose.

The laboratory director and principal investigator is Dr. Matthew Kohn.

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