Noble Gas Mass SPECTROMETRY Lab
Our main analytical facility is the WUSTL Noble Gas Laboratory. Noble gases are unique geochemical tracers, in that they do not participate in reaction chemistry. Rather, noble gas isotopic compositions are primarily affected by radioactive decay of assorted parent isotopes on a variety of timescales.
High-temperature isotope geochemistry studies have long focused on radiogenic isotope systems, such as U-Pb, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd and Hf-W. We expand the radiogenic isotope toolbox to include constraints from noble gas isotope systematics. Using state-of-the-art multicollector mass spectrometry, high-precision measurements may shed new light on topics such as the state of the early Earth, and chemical exchange between deep Earth and surface reservoirs.
We are currently building a custom gas extraction/purification line and calibrating our new Nu Noblesse HR 5F5M noble gas mass spectrometer. Once in operation, the laboratory will be fully automated to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sample Preparation and WET CHEMISTRY LABS
Our sample prep and wet chemistry labs are used to process, clean, and separate rock or mineral samples for geochemical analysis. Rock preparation equipment includes a mini jaw crusher, a disk mill, and a sieve shaker.
A new stereo microscope with built-in camera for hand-picking of mineral separates.