De Beers Laboratory for Diamond Research

Sample Preparation

The De Beers Laboratory for Diamond Research is located in basement of the Earth Sciences Building (ESB B-03), a second laboratory ("Mantle Microscopy") for micro-diamond and diamond inclusion studies is located in ESB 1-02. The labs are well equipped for the preparation and study of mantle xenoliths, diamonds and their inclusions.
The labs contain binocular and petrographic microscopes fitted with analog and digital cameras, as well as all the equipment necessary for crushing diamonds and mounting and polishing of their microscopic mineral inclusions.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

A micro-FTIR system was purchased for the laboratory in 2003. The instrument is mainly used to determine the concentration and the aggregation state of nitrogen impurities in diamonds. Other applications include the content and speciation of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous minerals or studies on the origin of baltic amber.

The Thermo Nicolet Nexus 470 FT-IR Spectrometer (bench) is fitted with a Continuum infrared microscope with motorized stage. The dual apertures of the Continuum microscope allow obtaining point analyses, profiles or maps with a spatial resolution down to 10 microns.

Other Analytical Facilities for Diamond Research in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Canadian Center for Isotopic Microanalysis (CCIM)

With a Cameca IMS1280 high resolution ion microprobe as the centre piece, CCIM is dedicated to spatially highly resolved isotopic analyses. Supporting equipment includes micro-computed tomography (3D imaging of the internal structure of samples) and a SEM equipped with various detectors, including colour and grey-scale CL. CCIM enables in situ isotopic analyses of diamonds, their inclusions, mantle xenocrysts and kimberlite minerals to constrain conditions and timing of formation/emplacement.

Electron Microprobe

A JEOL 8900 Superprobe and a Cameca SX-100 EPMA under supervision of Andrew Locock allows analysis of major and trace elements (from Boron to Uranium) down to concentrations of about 100 ppm

Laser Ablation ICP-MS

For rapid trace and ultra-trace element analyses (ppb level) of mantle minerals a Perkin Elmer Elan6000 quadrupole ICP-MS combined with a UP213 (Merchantek) laser ablation system is available under supervision of Guangcheng Chen

Several additional LA-ICP-MS systems for trace element and diamond analyses are available in the laboratories of CERC Graham Pearson

Radiogenic Isotope Facility

The radiogenic isotope facilities (laboratories of Rob Creaser, Andy DuFrane, Larry Heaman, and Graham Pearson) contain state of the art TIMS and LA-MC-ICPMS instruments, suitable for dating of kimberlites and diamond inclusions and source fingerprinting (analysis of the U-Pb, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd , Lu-Hf and Re-Os systems is well established in these labs)

Stable Isotope Facilities

The stable isotope laboratory of Karlis Muehlenbachs is equipped for the analysis of the carbon isotopic composition of diamonds via sealed tube combustion. The stable isotope laboratory of Long Li includes a laser fusion system for oxygen isotope analyses.