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The Vegacenter

The Vegacenter is a microanalytical facility at the Swedish Museum of Natural History

The Vegacenter provides the Swedish Geoscience community with state-of-the-art microbeam analytical technology focused on in situ material analysis at the micron scale. Such techniques are essential to a wide range of research topics in the geosciences today, permitting both fundamental and innovative investigation of chemical and isotopic composition of both natural (minerals, fossils, etc.) and synthetic materials. Our goal is to create an internationally competitive facility and establish Sweden as a clear leader in micro-analysis that supports high quality and high profile science.

The center is located at the Department of Geosciences in the south wing of NRM. The name 'Vegacenter' is derived from the name of the ship 'Vega', used by the Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld who was the first to sail through the Northeast Passage north of Siberia and circumnavigate Eurasia in 1878-80. Although mostly known as an Arctic explorer, Nordenskiöld was professor of mineralogy at the museum (then located in downtown Stockholm). Outside the south wing of the present museum is the 'Vega place' with the 'Vega monument'; an obelisk made of dolerite with a golden replica of the ship 'Vega' at its top.

Since January 2018 the Vegacenter is merged with the NordSIMS laboratory under the name NordSIM-Vegacenter. The joint Swedish national facility is funded by Vetenskapsrådet and Naturhistoriska riksmuseet.


The following instruments are available at the Vegacenter:

  • Multi-collector ICP-MS
  • Single collector HR-ICP-MS
  • Excimer laser ablation system for microanalysis
  • Gas chromatograph with transfer line to ICP-MS for compound-specific isotope analysis

More information about the instrument set-up and the methods we offer can be found under Instrumentationexternal link.

Vegacenter laboratory

Access to the center

Access to the Vegacenter may be granted by submitting a project proposal. Projects will be scientifically assessed in order to promote research of the highest caliber. More information about how to apply can be found under Access.


Head of the Vegacenter laboratory

Chris Mark

Phone +46 (0)7 0401 6034

E-mail: chris.mark@nrm.se

Questions and comments can also be sent using the feedback form under contact and feedback or by sending an email to NordSIMS-Vegacenter@nrm.se.


The Vegacenter is partly based on the previous initiative for a Geoscience Centre for Microimaging and Microanalysis (GCMM) that was proposed jointly by the Museum and Stockholm University in 2008, but did not receive funding at that time.

The Vegacenter application was approved by the Swedish Research Council (VR) in November 2011, and a contract was signed in September 2012.

The motivation for this initiative is three-fold:

  • There has been a recent shift towards ‘strategic planning´ in VR´s funding policy, i.e.- funding larger, longer-term national facilities of international relevance (so called Research Infrastructures).
  • Internationally competitive science often requires expensive and complicated state-of-the-art technology which in turn needs highly skilled technical support.
  • While funding of single instruments to single researchers or research groups is likely to become even more difficult in the future, a Research Infrastructure initiative provides an opportunity for Swedish Geoscience to establish the required facilities.