MRI: Acquisition of a 193nm Laser Ablation Sampling System to Expand Interdisciplinary Uses of an Element2 ICP-MS

Grant Details




In this proposal submitted to the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program, the PIs request ~$219K to acquire a 193nm Laser Ablation (LA) system to be used with an existing Element2 ICP-MS analyzer. The instrument will be used for trace element analyses in isotopic ratio profiling, geothermometry, compositional studies, fluid and melt inclusion chemistry, and precision spot analysis on diverse materials. The LA system will support faculty research projects spanning the range from petrology and geochemistry to biology, environmental chemistry and materials characterization. Several projects are outlined by the PIs. The PI will use the LA system to determine magmatic rock evolution from the midcontinental rift system. Melt inclusions will be assayed in order to understand midcontinental rift system evolution. The LA system will be used to better understand pegmatite crystallization and compositional evolution. Li, Cs, Ta, W, Sn and other elements can be assayed to infer melt cooling characteristics and histories. The LA-ICP-MS system will be used to better define the White-Inyo batholyth's petrologic evolution. Trace element concentrations will help infer pressure and temperature characteristics in plutonic minerals. In a human-impact context, the LA-ICP-MS system will be used to assay mercury absorption by polymeric materials in power-plant gaseous effluents. Additional polymer matrices will assayed for effectiveness in removing metals from aqueous waste streams. The system will also be used to titanium and other metals content in epoxidation catalysts developed at Central Michigan. Collaborative ecological studies will focus on assaying metals contamination and natural variability in mollusk shell carbonates and fish otoliths and scales. The instrument will incorporated with a newly-funded Thermo Element2 ICP-MS and will be housed in the CMU Geology Department. The site has been prepared for the Element2 and will accommodate necessary power, ventilation, gas cylinder storage, and videoconferencing equipment. The PI team has hands-on experience with LA-ICP-MS systems from other laboratories and will be responsible for administering the instrument and training. Trained users will be allowed to operate the system. The PIs will be responsible for maintenance, repairs and calibration. The Geology, Chemistry and Biology departments will contribute to annual operating costs and service contract funds. The instrumentation will serve a regional and community need. Within the University, multiple departments will directly benefit from this instrument enhancement. It will be incorporated into current undergraduate and graduate programs - and into the newly created Science of Advanced Materials PhD program. The system will enhance local environmental projects with direct human-impact relevance. The system will be connected to classroom instruction through videoconferencing systems and students will gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art modern instrumentation.


Effective start/end date09/15/0908/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $219,312.00


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