Sample Preparation

Our laboratories allow the preparation of geological samples for microstructural, chemical and isotope chemical analysis:

  • Rock sample preparation (rock saws, core drills, crusher, mills, sieves)
  • Preparation of polished thin sections & thin slabs (grinder, polisher, vacuum chamber for impregnation)
  • Mineral separation (water table, magnets, heavy liquids)

Experimental Petrology

Equipment to synthesize glasses and to prepare noble metal capsules are at its place, which are necessary in preparation for high-pressure/high-temperature experiments.


Analytical facilities to quantify major, trace and rare earth elements comprise powder & wet chemical methods and in-situ techniques:

  • Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES)
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spetrometry (LA-ICP-MS) (shared with Department of Inorganic Chemistry)
  • Laser induced plasma spectrometry (LIPS)
  • Wet chemical techniques for solution and separation
  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD)


A wide range of microscopic and spectroscopic methods currently operate:

  • Binoviewers
  • Cold-cathode Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscope
  • Electron Microprobe Analyzer (EMPA) equipped with WDS (5x), EDS, cold cathode CL detector
  • Polarising microscopes for transmitted and reflected light (equipped with circular stage, universal stage, X-Y translation mechanical stage, digital camera, image aquisition software)
  • Raman Spectroscopy
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)


The 40Ar/39Ar thermochronological laboratory consists of:

  • a high-sensitivity magnetic sector mass spectrometer (Micromass 5400)
  • a dual laser extraction system:
    • CO2 infra-red continuous laser (MIR10-50, New Wave Research) for step heating and total fusion
    • Nd:YAG ultra-violet pulsed laser (LUV266X, Merchantek) for spot ablation
  • an ultra-high vacuum purification line including a cold trap and alloy getter pumps