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Equipment & Capabilities

The Stable Isotope Laboratory is an 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 users of stable isotopes principally within the Departments of Geosciences, Biological Sciences, and Anthropology, but is also accessible to a broader regional and national community of scientists. 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 three main instruments:

  1. A 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).
  2. A 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.
  3. A ThermoFisher Flash EA for C & N elemental abundance in solid samples (soils, plants, etc.).

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.

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