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T-bana: Universitetet
Frescativägen 40

Ordinarie öppettider:
Tisdag–fredag 11–17
Lördag–söndag 10–18

  • Huvudmeny


The Department of Geosciences has equipment for crushing of rocks and separation of minerals, a clean laboratory for isotope sample preparation and advanced mass spectrometers for precise analysis of isotope compositions.

The department also has equipment for mineral synthesys and mineral analysis.

Mass spectrometers

NordSIMS ion microprobe

Cameca IMS1270 ion microprobe

Formerly a joint Nordic facility, since 2018 NordSIMS is part of the Swedish Research Council funded NordSIMS-Vegacenter microanalytical and microimaging infrastructure.

The NordSIMS laboratory is based around a CAMECA ims1280 ion microprobe, an advanced high-sensitivity mass spectrometer that uses a focused beam of ions to sample in situ selected micrometer sized areas of a sample for measurement of isotopic and elemental composition of both positive and negative ions. The instrument is used for a broad range of topics, including geochronology and cosmochemistry, geobiology, ecology and nuclear safeguards.

Find out more:

Camecaexternal link


The Vegacenter laboratory for micro-analysis in geosciences is a national facility located at the Department of Geosciences. Since January 2018 the Vegacenter is merged with the NordSIMSexternal link laboratory under the name NordSIMS-Vegacenter. The joint Swedish national research infrastructure is funded by Vetenskapsrådet and Naturhistoriska riksmuseet.

The Vegacenter is equipped with a multi-collector ICP-MS for isotope analysis and a single collector HR-ICP-MS for elemental analysis.These instruments can be connected to an ArF excimer laser ablation system for in-situ micro-analysis and trace-element mapping.

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Thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer

The thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS) is a Triton from Thermo Fisher. It is equipped with nine Faraday detectors and one secondary electron multiplier with RPQ filter for small signals. The sample magasin can house 21 samples.

It is used for high-precision isotope analysis of solid substances, principally uranium and lead, strontium, samarium and neodymium.

Find out more:

Thermo Fisherexternal link

Supporting facilities

Rock crushing and mineral separation

Malning av bergartsprover

Sample preparation facilities include equipment for crushing, milling and sieving of rock samples, as well as for mineral separation using Wilfley table, Frantz Isodynamic Separators and heavy liquids.

There are also microscopes and binoculars for handpicking of minerals, and equipment for photo-documentation of individual mineral grains.

Clean chemistry laboratory

Arbete i kemilaboratoriet

The clean chemistry laboratory is used for dissolution of whole rock and mineral samples and separation of the elements of interest by ion exchange chromatography.

These include U and Pb, Sm and Nd, as well as Sr. Other types of samples, such as water and sediment samples, may also be treated. In order to keep contamination at low levels and make it possible to prepare and analyse small U-Pb samples, the laboratory is built as a cleanroom with an overpressure of filtered air inside.

Mineralogical instrumentation

Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) with accessories for energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis (EDS) and wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS), cathodoluminescence (CL), electron diffraction (EBSD, Electron Backscatter Diffraction). Furthermore, the instrument has detectors for both secondary (SE) and backscattered backscattered electrons (BSE). This instrument with its imaging-enabled accessories offers excellent opportunities for detailed microchemical studies and high-resolution imaging of solid phases. The SEM has options for variable pressure, which allows you to look at uncoated samples (but not quantitative analyses).

High-temperature Furnaces

High-temperature Furnaces (1300°C) for experiments in air and at low oxygen fugacities, using H2/CO2 gas mixtures regulated by mass-flow controllers. The oxygen fugacity can be monitored by use of solid electrolyte oxygen sensors. This equpiment is mostly used for crystal synthesis by flux-growth methods.

X-ray Powder Diffractometer

PANalytical X'Pert system equipped with X’celerator strip detector.

Mössbauer Spectrometer

Mössbauer Spectrometer (Wissel) for studies of Fe valence states and coordination in minerals. Spectra can be obtained at ambient and low-temperature by use of a liquid-nitrogen cryostat. Normal samples should contain 2-5 mg Fe, with a total weight limit around 100 mg. Small samples can be measured using point-source technique.


Microscope-Spectrophoto-meter (Zeiss MPM800) for measurements of optical absorption or transmission spectra in the UV-VIS-NIR range from ca. 280 to ca. 2200 nm.  The spatial resolution of the instrument allows measurements of polarised optical spectra of small (Ø~20 µm) single crystals at a spectral resolution of 1 nm.

The equipment is mainly used for studies of valency and coordination of transition metal cations in solids through analyses of absorption bands caused by electron transitions, but numerous other applications are possible. An accessory diamond anvil cell (DAC) provides means to record absorption spectra at elevated pressures.

FTIR spectrometer

FTIR spectrometer (Bruker Vertex 70) for measurements of transmission spectra in the MIR-NIR wavelength ranges (400-10 000 cm-1). The instrument is equipped with an IR microscope, ATR objective and polarizor. This instrument is mostly used for measuring vibrational modes of molecular species (e.g. OH, H2O, CO3) in minerals.

Other equipment

The department also has a Beta counter for analysis of 234Th, and a Gamma counter for analysis of 210Pb and 137Cs.