Electron Microprobe Microanalytical Facility

The Microanalytical Laboratory is equipped with three newly installed state-of-the-art analytical instruments:

  • Cameca Electron Microprobe;
  • Hitachi field emission scanning electron microscope;
  • Renishaw Raman microscope.

These instruments allow elemental analysis, imaging and identification of metals, ceramics, minerals, alloys, fibers and many more. The lab is open to academic, government and commercial users. For more details, please visit our website: https://castaing.eps.mcgill.ca/




Inductively-Coupled Plasma (ICP) Lab

Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a powerful technique for the quantification of minor and trace elements present in natural and experimental samples at very low concentrations.

Our Facility houses a brand new Thermo Scientific iCAP Q ICP-MS equipped with an autosampler for the analyses of bulk samples in solution, as well as a NewWave 213 nm ND-YAG laser ablation system for the analyses of solid samples. Our class-100 clean room allows for sample and standard preparation in an environment free of possible contaminants.

For more information on our ICP-MS facility, services offered, and contact information please visit the ICP Lab website.

Isotope Biochemistry Lab

This laboratory is focused on measuring lipid biomarkers and greenhouse gases and their isotopic composition, as well as C and O isotope ratios on carbonates. Key capabilities include:

  • Wet lab with facilities for extracting and purifying lipids from sediments and other samples, including a microwave solvent extraction system (CEM MARS 6), solvent evaporation units, and hoods for column chromatography
  • Gas chromatograph-flame ionization device (Thermo Trace 1310) for quantification of lipid biomarkers and hydrocarbon gases (e.g. CH4)
  • Gas chromatograph-isotope ratio mass spectrometer (Thermo Delta V Plus with GC-Isolink) for carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements of lipid biomarkers and hydrocarbon gases (e.g. CH4)
  • Cavity ringdown greenhouse gas carbon isotope analyzer (Picarro G2201-i) for 13C measurements of CO2 and CH4
  • Cavity ringdown water isotope analyzer (Picarro L2140-i) for water isotope analyses (including 18O, 2H, and 17O)
  • Mobile greenhouse gas concentration analyzers (Picarro Gas Scouter G4301) for high precision mobile surveys
  • A Nu Instruments Perspective large-radius mass spectrometer is equipped for both dual inlet and continuous flow analyses. It is coupled to a NuCarb automated carbonate preparation device for highly precise and sensitive measurement of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios in carbonate minerals.

For more information, contact peter.douglas [at] mcgill.ca (Peter Douglas) orgalen.halverson [at] mcgill.ca ( Galen Halverson).

Geomicrobiology Lab

This laboratory is equipped with a variety of microbiology and geochemical instruments to carry out (1) the preparation and maintenance of aerobic and anaerobic microbial cultures; (2) the extraction and purification of nucleic acids for genomic analysis; (3) tracking the isotopic composition of microbially respired CO2; and (4) the extraction, purification, and quantification of microbial lipids.

  • Wet lab equipped with autoclave, fumehood, milli-Q water purification system, high-capacity centrifuges, shakers, incubators, anaerobic glove box, laminar flow hood, water baths, muffle furnace, spectrophotometer, ultra-low temperature (-80°C) freezers.
  • Agilent 7890B Series Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer
  • Sable Systems CA-10 CO2 analyzer
  • Vacuum line for cryogenic separation of gases

For more information contact nagissa.mahmoudi [at] mcgill.ca (Nagissa Mahmoudi)








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