High precision analyses of radiogenic and "non-conventional" stable isotope variations contribute to nearly all of the research themes pursued at CRPG, including cosmochemistry, early Earth evolution, magmas, and climate and erosion. They also critically constrain specific applied studies, for example on the origin of metal deposits, or the assimilation of metals by plants. Elements of interest are first extracted and purified under clean lab conditions, then analyzed by TIMS (Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry) or MC-ICPMS (Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry).
MC-ICPMS (ThermoScientific Neptune Plus), equipped with an Apex HF desolvation nebulizer (ESI) that greatly increases sensitivity, as well as a hydride generator (CETAC HGX-200) that reduces interferences and increases sensitivity for hydride-forming elements. The instrument is used for analysis of mass dependent and independent isotope fractionations in a wide range of elements (Ge, Fe, Mg, Hg, Ni, Zn, Cd...) as well as for certain radiogenic isotopes (143Nd, Pb, Hf).
TIMS (ThermoScientific Triton), used for analysis of radiogenic isotopes requiring very high precision (142Nd, 40Ca, 186Os) as well as for routine analysis of Sr isotopes. Three amplifiers with 1013 ohm resistors allow high precision analyses of small quantities of material, permitting for example analysis of 186Os variations in sediments (ANR INTOCC).
TIMS (Finnigan MAT262), installed in 1989, now dedicated exclusively to the analysis of Os.
ICPMS Quadrupole (ThermoScientific X-Series 2), installed in 2014, used for isotope dilution analyses of Rb, Re, and PGE and for calibration of chromatographic columns.
PrepFast (ESI), installed in 2014. Permits automation of certain chemical separation protocols (Mg, Sr, Ca...), thus improving both efficiency and reproducibility.
Two high pressure ashers (Anton Paar HPA-S) for sample digestion at high temperature and pressure.
Two class 10000 clean labs, equipped with filtered laminar flow hoods and drying boxes for sample digestion and chemical separation and purification of the elements of interest. Both rooms will be replaced in 2017 by a class 1000 (ISO 6) clean lab complex currently under construction.