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Photo of NuPlasm Mass Spectrometer
The Department of Geological Sciences houses world-class analytical facilities for internal and external research.

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry

The ICP-MS facility is equipped with a Nu Plasma 3-D multi-collector, Element-2 multi resolution single collector, and Nu Plasma -1 multi-collector mass spectrometers.  Sample introduction equipment includes quintupled Nd-YAG lasers as well as desolvating nebulizers and autosamplers.  The facility is under positive pressure from HEPA-filtered air, contains seamless clean-room flooring, and has a wet-bench facility with laminar flow exhaust hood (class 100) for sample preparation.


Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry

Light stable isotope lab features the following mass spectrometers and laser based isotope analyzers along with a complete sample preparation facility:  1) Finnigan-MAT 252 isotope ratio mass spec with a Kiel III carbonate preparation device; 2) Thermo Delta V Advantage isotope ratio mass spec with a ConFlo II interface attached to a Carlo Erba elemental analyzer; 3) Thermo Delta V Advantage isotope ratio mass spec with a ConFlo IV interface attached to a Thermo IsoLink elemental analyzer; 4) Thermo Delta V Plus isotope ratio mass spec with a ConFlo IV interface attached to a Thermo TC/EA and a Thermo GCC-III interface with modified HP6890 GC; 5) Finnigan-MAT DeltaPlus isotope ratio mass spec with a ConFlo II interface attached to a Carlo Erba elemental analyzer; 6) Picarro L2120-I Isotopic Liquid Water and Water Vapor Analyzer coupled with a Picarro A0211 High Precision Vaporizer and a CTC HTS PAL autosampler; 7) Picarro G2201-i CRDS Analyzer for Isotopic CO2 and CH4.  Additional equipment includes a MKS Pico helium leak detector and a UIC 5017 CO2 Coulometer with autosampler.  Plus access to a shared Finnigan-MAT DeltaPlus with Gasbench II and Costech elemental analyzer.

Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer

A Micromass Sector 54 thermal ionization mass spectrometer equipped with one fixed and six movable faraday buckets, 20 bead turret, an ion counting Daly detector, negative ion capability, and complete automation system along with standard filament fabrication and degassing equipment, and clean air stations.

Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry

A MAP-215-50 noble gas mass spectrometer used for 40Ar/39Ar analyses.  Samples are transferred to the mass spectrometer through an automated extraction line with a Modifications Ltd. resistance furnace and CO2 IR laser.

An Isotopx NGX multi-collector mass spectrometer will be installed in early 2020 along with a new automated extraction system and CO2 IR laser.

The (U-Th)/He laboratory houses a noble gas extraction and purification system for 4He abundance measurement. The major components of the system are (1) diode laser gas extraction module with X-Y stage, (2) precisely calibrated volume aliquot of 3He for isotope dilution, (3) precisely calibrated volume aliquot of 4He for spike volume calibration, (4) gas purification module with Janis cryogenic trap and NP10 getter, and (5) Pfeiffer-Balzer Prisma quadrupole mass spectrometer.

Clean Laboratory

A metal-free laboratory with HEPA-filtered air under positive pressure and seamless flooring is used for sample processing for isotopic and selected trace element analyses.  This laboratory has all polypropylene clean air exhaust hoods for sample dissolution, reagent preparation, and column work.  Blank levels are more than adequate for the proposed research (e.g., <5 pg for Pb).

X-Ray Analysis

Rigaku automated wavelength dispersive spectrometer

Phillips APD 3600 X-ray diffractometer

Zeiss Scanning Electron Microscope

SEM laboratory equipped with a Zeiss EVO MA10 and an EDAX EDS spectrometer with a Gatan MiniCL detector.  This instrument has variable pressure capability, allowing imaging and analysis of non-conductive surfaces without the need for carbon-coating in most situations.

Electron Microprobe

The facility is located in the UF Nanoscale Instrument Center and includes: a CAMECA SXFIVE-FE field emission electron probe with 4 high-resolution WDS spectrometers and EDS, capable of high precision and high spatial resolution trace element analyses of minerals, and a TESCAN/EDAX Field Emission SEM-EDS-EBSD system for mineral fabric analysis.  The CAMECA EPMA and TESCAN SEM instruments have integrated software and stage solutions allowing co-location of elemental and EBSD analysis as a spatial resolution of better than 1 micron.


The paleomagnetism lab is equipped with a discrete sample 2G Enterprises cryogenic magnetometer, a newly upgraded (expected spring 2020) 755-1.65 2G Enterprises U-channel magnetometer, and a molspin discrete spinner magnetometer within a magnetically shielded room. The lab also houses equipment for offline sample treatment including a thermal demagnetizer and pulse magnetizers optimized for both u-channel and discrete samples. For studies of rock and environmental magnetism lab users have access to a kappabridge magnetic susceptibility bridge, a sapphire instruments susceptibility bridge optimized for u-channels, a Bartington magnetic susceptibility system, a PMC MicroMag 3900 series vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and a Lakeshore 8600 series VSM (delivery expected spring 2020). On campus there is a Quantum Design MPMS3 housed and maintained within the Department of Chemical Engineering.


A fully equipped lab is available for analysis of surface and groundwater chemistry that includes:  1) Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-6000 HPIC system; 2) Seal Analytics AA3 Autoanalyzer; 3) Agilent 7820A gas chromatograph; 4) Hitachi F-7000 Fluorescence spectrometer; 5) Shimadzu UV-1800 spectrometer.  Plus a variety of field meters and automated dataloggers.

Organic Geochemistry

A fully equipped lab for analysis of organic compounds and isotopes includes:  1) Shimadzu ASI-V, TOC-V CSN, TNM-1; 2) Dionex FR2000 flourescence detector, ASI auto sample injector, LC20, DD20, and GP50; 3) Shimadzu AOC-2oi, GCMS-QP2010S, and GC-2010; 4) Christ Alpha 1-4 LD plus freeze dryer; 5) Thermoscientific TSQ8000 Triple Quadrople MS, and Trace 1310 gas chronmatograph; 6) Thermoscientific Dionex Ultimate 3000 endura liquid chromatograph; 7) Isotope cleanroom for radiocarbon preparation; 8) Dionex ASE300 Accelerated Solvent Extractor; 9)Thermoscientific Evolution 300 UV-VIS spectrometer; 10) Shimadzu GC-2010 gas chromograph; 11) Caliper Turbo Vap II; 12) Shimadzu TOC-V CSN analyzer; 13) Gerstel Fration Collector coupled with Agilent 7890B gas chromograph; 14) Agilent 5977B GC/MSD coupled with a Frontier Lab Multishot Pyrolzer EGA/PY 3030D.

Experimental Petrology

The Experimental Geochemistry Laboratory allows our researchers to recreate the high-temperature and high-pressure conditions inside the terrestrial planets and asteroids. The instrumentation in the laboratory includes: Two Rockland End-Loaded Piston Cylinders a Deltech Controlled-Atmosphere Furnace, and Preparation and Processing Equipment.

Optical Microscopy

Zeiss, Leica, Olympus, and Nikon polarized, transmitted and reflective light microscopes for thin section and single grain analysis, including digital grain size measurements and point counting.

Geodynamics and geophysics

Portable seismometers for remote deployment, magnetometer, Warden gravimeter, and high-end computing workstations directly linked to UF’s Hypergator supercomputer are available for research and teaching.

Sediment core facilities

Sampling station and walk-in cold storage and a Geotek Multi-Sensor Core Logger with sensors for gamma density, magnetic susceptibility, P-wave velocity, and a line scan camera.