We have a wide sampling and instrumental base for the analysis of inorganic and bulk organic constituents.

The Sea Group maintains a wide instrument base, situated in four purpose built laboratories, to underpin its research activities. Three Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometers (ICP-MS), which will soon be accompanied by a new ICP Atomic Emission Spectrometer, are used for the majority of our elemental analyses. We also have a Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, various Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometers and a GC Atomic Fluorescence system.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Instruments


This instrument, situated in a Class 1000 clean room, is capable of both high resolution measurements and simultaneous ion signal measurements. The high sensitivity of this instrument allows typical detection limits in the low to mid pg g -1 range for most elements. In high resolution mode isotopes of interest can be resolved from polyatomic interferents of the same nominal mass to charge ratio, e.g. 32S can be resolved from 16O2 and 56Fe from 40Ar 16O. High precision isotope ratios measurements, e.g. 208Pb: 206Pb and 34S: 32S, are made with the Faraday cup multicollector array, recent applications of this capability include geochronology, pharmaceutical product patent protection and high accuracy analysis by isotope dilution.

Quadrupole ICP-MS

Quadrupole ICP-MS The SEA Group has two of these instruments, a VG PQ3 and A VG PQ2+, which are used for both research and teaching. The rapid scanning ability of a quadrupole analyser allows the ion signal of an individual element to be quantified in a couple of seconds, giving fast multielement analysis for a wide range of sample types.

A wide variety of sample introduction systems, including High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), hydride generation, cold vapour generation, electrothermal vapour generation, gas chromatography and membrane desolvation, can be coupled to our ICP-MS instruments, either for elemental speciation work and/or to enhance instrumental sensitivity.

Elemental Analysis

Carlo Erba CHN analyser

Shimadzu DOC/DON analyser

Atomic Spectroscopy

Varian flame AAS

Varian Graphite furnace AAS
Varian graphite furnace AAS

Dedicated HF laboratory


Clean room facilities


Dedicated radiochemistry laboratory

working under a nitrogen atmosphere liquid scintillation counter

Instrument Charges

Financial Advice for Users of ICP-MS & ICP-AES

The Speciation and Environmental Analysis (SEA) group now have direct financial and technical responsibility for the upkeep of the ICP facilities. The SEA Group wish to maintain and enhance the facilities in the medium term and therefore users will be charged for the use of the facility. Information regarding recharge costs and application forms for instrument time can be downloaded below:

Recharge rates: Application_costing.pdf

Application form: Form AS-01.doc