High Precision Isotope Analysis

Image from Technical Showcase: High Precision Isotope Analysis

A range of high precision instruments allow natural isotope ratios to be determined in complex systems.

The Clean Suite Laboratory for trace metal concentration and high precision isotope analysis is housed in Oxford’s Department of Earth Sciences. The suite offers the ability to determine background sensitive, low concentration and isotope composition analysis of a range of sample types, including geological, plant, archaeological and biological matrices. Specific expertise includes the application of these techniques to medical studies, of both natural isotopic composition and enriched isotope tracers.

Specialist capabilities

Biological and medical sample analysis for:

  • concentration determination of trace metals
  • high precision isotopic measurements of trace metals by multiple collector ICPMS to ± <0.01% precision
  • natural isotope compositions
  • stable isotope tracer studies
  • method development for cation and anion exchange chromatography for specialist samples
  • low background and limited concentration work

Geological, archeological and plant matrices also accepted.

Planning and experimental design for isotopic investigations


  • MARS 6 High pressure microwave
  • Anton Paar Multiwave microwave (HF compatible)
  • Ultra-clean metal free laboratory suite with laminar flow hoods
  • Hotplate digestion with inhouse distilled ultra clean acids in high-purity plastics
  • Anion and cation exchange chromatography for a range of elements including Ca, Sr, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mo, Ni, Cr, V.
  • ICPMS systems for concentration analysis
  • Nu Plasma II MC-ICP-MS
  • Nu Plasma 1700 High Resolution MC-ICP-MS

*** Earth Sciences have been awarded NUS Green Impact Silver Award for Laboratories ***

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