About the SILLA facility


The Stable-Isotope Laboratory (SILLA) provides state-of-the-art Continuous-Flow Isotope-Ratio Mass Spectrometry (CF-IRMS) for the investigation of environmental, biological and geological samples. The laboratory undertakes commercial and academic research both as a stand-alone consultancy and as a research partner.

SILLA is a facility of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Mass Spectrometry (CF-IRMS)

The stable-isotope facility, commissioned in December 2005, runs 2 continuous-flow Isoprime™ IRMS, one connected to a Eurovector Environmental Analyser with both solid and liquid autosamplers while the other is connected to an Elementar PYRO cube©. This configuration permits the analysis of d18O and d2H in liquids and d13C, d18O, d15N, d34S and d2H in solid samples using pyrolysis or combustion techniques at temperatures up to 1500°C. The lab also has an GV Multiflow preparation line for the determination of d13C and d18O in carbonates, d18O of water and d13C of dissolved inorganic carbon in waters.

GV Isoprime Mass spectrometer with EA and Multiflow preparation lines

GV Isoprime Mass spectrometer with EA and Multiflow preparation lines

We require approximately 2 ml of water from which multiple repeats can be performed (each analysis typically requires <1 ul for d2H and 200 ul for d18O), they should be provided in sealed bottles with little or no head space, contact the lab manager (see below) for precise details. Typically, the determination of carbon and nitrogen in organics or carbon and oxygen in carbonates is undertaken on samples of about 50-200 ug.

New Wave Research MicroMillThe lab also has a dedicated preparation line which includes a Wolf Labs grinding mill for bulk sample homogenisation and a New Wave Research MicroMill for the preparation of drilled material from finely laminated speleothems, molluscs, teeth, etc.