Radiogenic and non-traditional stable isotope geochemistry laboratory

The radiogenic isotope branch of The Danish Center for Isotope Geology (DCIG) is centered around the “Radiogenic and non-traditional isotope geochemistry laboratory”.


The lab provides access and development space, both for experienced fellows, but also for Ph.D. and post doctoral students, for research in (isotope-) geochemistry, particularly in the fields of magmatic and metamorphic petrology, environmental geochemistry, past and recent climate aspects, archaeometry, biogeoscience, geochronology, just to mention some.

The laboratories strengths are in providing expertise in the analyses of modern isotope tracer systems to answer question regarding the operation of the Earth systems and in the use of conventional radiogenic isotope systems used for geochronological purposes of rocks and minerals.


Presently used separation techniques and mass spectrometic analyses are offered for:

  • Analysis of U-Th-Pb isotopes
    U-Th-Pb element separation from conventional sample sizes (> 10 mg)
    U-Pb element separation from single grains or from small samples (< 10 mg), usually used for geochronology
  • Pb stepwise leaching of minerals and corresponding analysis of Pb isotopes
  • Analysis of Rb-Sr isotopes
    Rb-Sr-REE separation over conventional cation resin-charged glass-stem columns
    Rb-Sr separation from small samples (SrSpec™ resin)
  • Analysis of Sm-Nd isotopes
    Sm-Nd separation over LN™ resin-charged PP columns
  • Separation of Cr and Cd from sediments and corresponding analyses of non-traditional stable isotopes.


The DCIG comprises 3 individual class 1´000 rooms (supplied by HEPA-filtered air) and 1 class 10´000 laboratory, all equipped with separate class-100 (zero-particle) vented laminar flow hoods which were partly self-designed and manufactured. Together with the establishment of the GEOCENTER, parts of the laboratory were recently renovated and expanded. The labs are centrally organized and the lab assistants (laborants) are responsible for the daily running, cleaning of recyclable teflon ware, distillation of acids to high purity, supply of disposable material, set-up and control of reservation schemes, ordering of chemical substances, quality control etc.

The labs contain all necessary equipment for preparation, weighing, and separation of the most commonly used elements for isotopic analyses of geological, archeological and environmental samples. A number of relevant, calibrated spikes are available for common use.


DCIG has 2 key facilities:

  • Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometers (TIMS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES)



The DCIG is accessible to all scientists of the GEOCENTER, however only after an individual introduction by the laboratory leader/lab technicians. Access to the facilities is restricted to researchers with individual projects, which have to be applied for (see "application procedure").

Master (M.Sc; speciale-) students who wish to include isotope data into their theses are asked to focus their topics primarily on the isotope part. Funding for this work has to be provided by the respective supervisors. Use of the labs and analytical facilities is only possible after an introductory period by our lab staff and/or qualified supervisors.