The facility comprises three purpose-built mass spectrometry laboratories, an Ultra-Clean Laboratory and two complementary preparation laboratories. This mass spectrometry suite houses high-end mass spectrometers and laser systems, which provide UWA with high-precision, ultra-sensitive isotopic and elemental capabilities applicable to earth and environmental sciences, as well as to a rapidly growing range of other disciplines.
- NEPTUNE Plus MC-ICP-MS
- NU Plasma II MC-ICP-MS
- Thermo ELEMENT XR HR-ICPMS
- Thermo X-Series 2 Q-ICP-MS
- Teledyne Photon ANALYTE G2 UV Excimer Laser Ablation System
- Coherent COMPexPro 110 UV Excimer Laser Ablation System
Mass Spectrometry Suite
The mass spectrometry facility has four inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers: two double focusing multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, a Thermo Finnigan NEPTUNE Plus, and an NU Instruments Plasma II, as well as a Thermo ELEMENT XR high resolution ICPMS, and a Thermo X-Series 2 quadrupole ICPMS.
The MC-ICPMS systems combine the advantage of inductively coupled plasma for superior ionization with the high precision obtained from simultaneous multi-collector data acquisition possible with a high dispersion magnetic sector mass spectrometer. This enables the ionization and hence analysis of most elements, and the measurement of their isotopes ratios and relative mass-fractionations at high precision. The ICP source also provides greater flexibility of how samples are introduced into the mass spectrometer, allowing the analysis of either aspirated solutions or as aerosols produced by direct laser ablation (LA-MC-ICP-MS) of solid materials. Two laser systems are also available which can be coupled to any of the ICPMS systems for high spatial resolution in-situ analysis of solid samples.
The ability to obtain high precision isotopic analyses of a large range of elements made possible by MC-ICPMS in particular enables applications across all fields of science. They are commonly used in geochemistry, geochronology, and the environmental sciences. Our research has a strong focus on environmental geochemistry using biogenic skeletons as archives of seawater chemistry and environmental change, on modern and geological timescales.
NEPTUNE Plus MC-ICP-MS
The Thermo Scientific NEPTUNE Plus is equipped with eight adjustable Faraday ion collectors, one fixed central collector, and two ion counters, a 1012 Ohm DC-amplifier with reduced noise level, and a larger interface pump for enhanced sensitivity. A high resolution filter (RPQ) is present in the central channel. The multi-ion counting package consists of two CDDs with positions to accommodate precise U-Th and B isotope determinations of very small sample volumes. Solution samples can be introduced via conventional spray chamber using an autosampler and desolvation system, or high spatial resolution analysis of solids can be undertaken using in-situ laser micro-sampling.
NU Plasma II MC-ICP-MS
The Nu Instruments Plasma II features sixteen fixed Faraday ion collectors to maximize the number and range of isotope analysis. Three full-size discrete dynode multipliers enable isotope ratio measurements of very low abundance isotopes. Enhanced zoom optics focus the ion beams into the fixed collectors and allows instantaneous switching between collector configurations for a range of elements.
The Nu Plasma II plasma source operates at high voltage with the analyser being at ground potential operation. Solution samples can be introduced via conventional spray chamber using an autosampler and desolvation system, or high spatial resolution analysis of solids can be undertaken using in-situ laser micro-sampling.-MS)
Thermo ELEMENT XR HR-ICPMS
Thermo X-Series 2 Q-ICP-MS
The Thermo Scientific X-SERIES 2 Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (Q-ICPMS) enables simultaneous measurements of elemental concentrations from most of the periodic table. The X-Series 2 has an ESI SC-FAST auto-sampling system which enables high volume throughput of solution samples.
Solution samples can be introduced via conventional spray chamber using an autosampler, or high spatial resolution analysis of solids can be undertaken using in-situ laser micro-sampling.
Teledyne Photon ANALYTE G2 UV Excimer Laser Ablation System
High spatial resolution in-situ microanalytical geochemical analyses can be undertaken on a wide variety of geological and biological solid samples using laser ablation ICPMS (Teledyne Photon ANALYTE G2 & Coherent COMPexPro 110 UV 193 nm Excimer laser systems).
High precision isotopic ratios can be measured when coupled to either the NEPTUNE Plus or NU Plasma II MC-ICPMS, or elemental ratios using the ELEMENT XR HR-ICPMS or X-Series 2 Q-ICPMS. The large format, 2-volume sample cell configuration and rotating apertures enables a wide range of spot sizes for either down-hole profiling or continuous scan rasters to track compositions of growth features in different dimensions.
Coherent COMPexPro 110 UV Excimer Laser Ablation System
This laser ablation system comprises a 193nm COMPex Pro 110 argon fluoride (ArF) excimer laser and a large format, 2-volume sample cell. This system enables in-situ analysis of solid samples over a large range of spot sizes in the form of depth profiling or continuous scans. The laser system can be coupled to either MC-ICPMS (Neptune or NU) for high precision isotope ratio measurements, or to the ELEMENT XR HR-ICPMS or X-Series Q-ICPMS for analysis of elemental concentrations and ratios.
Clean Laboratory Suite
All wet chemistry preparation is undertaken in the Clean Laboratory facility. This includes clean acid preparation for instrument calibrations and standard analyses, as well as sample processing such as ion exchange chromatography for solution-based mass spectrometry.
Elemental Scientific prepFAST MC SC-4 DX System
The prepFAST automated sample purification system is setup in the Clean Room Facility to maintain a clean working environment during sample processing. This fully automated, syringe-driven low-pressure chromatography system, isolates and elutes the target elements from the dissolved samples for precise isotopic analysis.