Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

We operate a single collector, magnetic sector ICP-MS (ThermoFinnigan Element 2).  It was installed in 2002, but is still running well.  This instrument has high sensitivity (>1,000,000 cps per ppb in solution in low resolution mode) and has the capability of operating in low and high mass resolution mode (300, 3000 and 10000).  We regularly run trace element and major element analyses of various rock types in both solution and laser ablation mode.  Rare earth elements, high field strength elements, and the major element oxides are routine.  We are also capable of measuring S, platinum group elements, and iodine, provided samples are prepared properly.  Contact Cin-Ty Lee ( to use this instrument.


In house or collaborative rates: $90/hour

Industrial rates: $150/hour


ordering argon gas

   fund/org#/first & last name  in the “PO number”

   list of gas types


Data reduction software (Principles; Solution ICPMS

Troubleshooting (No Ions by M. Schmidt)


Laser ablation ICP-MS


We have a 213 nm laser ablation system (New-Wave) coupled to our high resolution magnetic sector ICP-MS, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.  The laser allows for in situ analysis of geologic materials. We regularly measure major element oxides and trace elements. We are also capable of measuring S and Ge in various minerals and materials. (glasses, pressed pellets, soils, carbonates, agates, silicate minerals, oxides, sulfides).  Although most of the materials studied are geologic, we have on occasion measured petroleum products for S and trace metal content.  We are also set up for in situ U/Pb dating of zircons, apatite, titanite, rutile and various authigenic minerals. Contact Cin-Ty Lee ( to use this instrument.

In house or collaborative rates: $90/hour

Industrial rates: $150/hour

Data reduction software (Principles; software; format, instructions)




Micro-XRF elemental mapping

In early 2015, we installed  micro-XRF element mapper (Horiba XGT 7000) in our lab.  This instrument excites atoms using a Rhodium x-ray source and measures energy of the re-emitted x-rays using energy dispersive spectrometry.  This instrument consists of two monocapillary tubes capable of 50 micron and 400 micron spot sizes.  We can operate under high vacuum and partial vacuum, the latter allowing us to measure volatile-bearing samples (such as wet sediments) as well fine sample powder mixtures.  This instrument is semi-quantitative and is designed for rapid mapping of large samples (up to 10 x 10 cm) with minimal sample preparation.  Contact Cin-Ty Lee ( to use this instrument.

In house rates: $35 per hour of X-ray tube usage

Industrial rates: $70/hour








Fourier Transform Infrared Microscope (FT-IR)

FTIR (2).jpg

We have a Thermo Nicolet FT-IR microscope, capable of transmitted and reflected absorbance down to spatial resolutions of 10 microns.  We primarily use this instrument to measure OH and CO bonds in various silicate minerals.  This instrument was acquired with funds from the Packard Foundation. Right figure shows IR absorption spectra for optically oriented sections of olivine from former graduate student Zhengxue Li. Contact Cin-Ty Lee ( to use this instrument. 



In house or collaborative rates: $10 per hour







UV-VIS spectrophotometer


Sample preparation facilities

Class 10,000 and 1,000 clean room environments

       laminar flow hoods, perchloric hood







Spex Mill Disk/Ring Mill for crushing and powdering rocks







Large and small diamond rock saws













Polishing equipment

Buehler grinding strips






Spex Mill mini rock powderer









Petrographic microscopes (polarized, reflected, binocular)

Mettler Toledo 5 digit balance and 2 digit top-loader

Pellet maker

Franz Magnetic seperator












1200 C Furnaces

Short-wave and long-wave UV lamp