W.M. Keck Isotope Laboratory

The W.M. Keck Isotope Laboratory comprises two mass spectrometers and wet chemical labs all housed in a class 1000 suite of clean labs. The laboratory was inaugurated on 18th June 2004 following a substantial grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation for the purchase of a ThermoFinnigan Neptune multiple collector ICP-MS.


Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer

Within the W.M. Keck Isotope Lab is a thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS) - a fully-automated, nine-Faraday collector VG Sector 54 equipped with a WARP filter and an ion counting Daly. This instrument is typically used for Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Pb, U, Th, Ra and Ca isotope measurements. The Sector 54 has been recently upgraded to ensure continued high precision performance.


Neptune Plasma Mass Spectrometer

The Neptune was acquired in 2003 through a grant from W.M. Keck foundation. It is a multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) equipped with nine Faraday collectors and an ion counter located behind an RPQ filter to give high abundance senstivity. The Neptune offers high precision isotope measurements for almost all elements in the periodic table. The instrument is typically used for Pb, Nd, Hf, U, Th, Fe, Cr and Mo isotope analyses.

clean lab

Chemistry Facility Clean Lab

Chemistry facilities include a 1000 square foot, Class 1000 clean lab with separate rooms for cleaning, dissolution and acid preparation, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf separations, and U-Th-Ra-Pa separations. Facilities are also available for single zircon analysis using the mineral separation lab equipped with a Leica binocular microscope also housed within the laboratory suite.

Principal users are Gill, Zachos, Koch, Smith, Flegal, Paytan, Blackburn, and their respective students. Projects covering earth sciences, marine sciences, environmental science and archaeology frequently use the W.M. Keck Isotope Laboratory facilities for high precision isotope measurements. Non-UCSC scientists are invited to use the facilities.

Please contact Terry Blackburn for more information about instrumentation and chemistry facilities use.