Sample preparation

Waters- We will analyze saline poor waters only, as high Cl (e.g. brines) can cause clogging and problematic mass interferences

Rocks minerals- must be submitted as powders.  We do not offer rock powdering as a service.  Please be aware of the material you crush your samples in, as these may contain trace elements at wt % levels and thus may contaminate your samples.

Digestion methods

Carbonate (calcite/dolomite)-  8 N HNO3 acid digestion until completely dissolved.
Silicate  Na2O2 sintering at 400 C, followed by dissolution in water/2%HNO3. Completely dissolves refractory phases (e.g. zircon, chromite, spinel) but cannot analyze for Na and Ni.
Open vessel hotplate digestion using mixed HF-HNO3 110 C.  Chemically resistant phases can linger, such as zircon spinel. Cannot analyze for Si.

We do not routinely offer high pressure “bomb dissolution”

Laser ablation

Our laser cells accept standard thin sections or standard 1” round grain mounts.  Both must be polished to at least 1 um grit.  For atypical samples, please contact us for a recommendation.  It is best if any coatings for microbeam analysis are removed prior to laser ablation analysis.