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Integrated Infrastructure Initiative SYNTHESYS

The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) forms part of a EU-supported Integrated Infrastructure Initiative called "SYNTHESYS" (SYNthesis of SYStematic resources), encompassing a consortium of 18 natural history museums and botanical gardens in 12 European countries.

Synthesys logotype

The first SYNTHESYS program ran for for a five-year period (2004-2008). A continuation of the program for a new four-year period ("SYNTHESYS-2") ran from 2009 to 2013. A third four-year period ("SYNTHESYS-3") starts in the autumn of 2013, with a dead-line for the first round of applications on October 17th.

Under this scheme, the Laboratory for Isotope Geology (LIG) may receive foreign guest researchers for time periods of maximum 3 months (60 working days) for research or training in isotope geochemistry. Applicants should be conducting their normal research in a member state, candidate state or associated state (other than Sweden) of the European Community. Succesful applicants will have access to the laboratory facilities requested in their applications free of charge, as well as money for travelling, accomodation in Stockholm, and a daily allowance. The outcome of the visit may be a research paper containing analytical results from the stay, or training in isotope geochemical methods for a student or young researcher.

Facilities available for visitors at LIG are as follows:

  • Equipment for crushing of rock samples and separation of heavy minerals, including Wilfley table, heavy liquids, and Frantz isodynamic magnetic separators.
  • Equipment for handpicking of minerals under the microscope, and for microphotographic documentation of mineral separates and mineral grains.
  • Access to a Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope (joint property of the whole museum) equipped with EDS, Back Scatter Electron, and Cathodoluminescence detectors for study and documentation of external and internal properties of mineral grains.
  • A clean-lab for chemical preparation of whole rock, mineral and aqueous samples for U-Pb, Rb-Sr, and Sm-Nd analysis, including dissolution in conventional or microwave oven, and separation of elements using ion exchange chromatography.
  • Low-level beta counter for 234Th determination and low-level gamma counter for 210Pb and 137Cs determination.
  • A Finnigan MAT261 multi-collector thermal ionization mass spectrometer for analysis of the isotopic composition of uranium, lead, strontium, samarium and neodymium (Nd may also be analysed as NdO for small samples with a few nanograms Nd).
  • A Triton multi-collector thermal ionization mass spectrometer for analysis of the isotopic composition of solid samples, primarily U, Pb, Sr, Sm and Nd.
  • A Micromass Isoprobe multi-collector ICP mass spectrometer for analysis of the isotopic composition of elements in solution.
  • The Cameca IMS1280 ion microprobe of the NORDSIM analytical facility, housed at the Laboratory for Isotope Geology, is also available for SYNTHESYS visitors, although the number of days is restricted.

Application rounds is on an annual basis. The deadline for the first call of the SYNTHESYS-3 program is on October 17th 2013.

Find out more

Staff (for contact information and e-mail-addresses at LIG and NORDSIM)

Projects (for information on current projects and on-going research at LIG)

Instruments and equipment (at LIG)

NORDSIM facility

Museum´s SYNTHESYS information page

SYNTHESYS central information pageexternal link, opens in new window