School of Earth and Environment

Geochronology and Radiogenic Isotopes Laboratories


The Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) laboratory is located in the Earth & Environment Building, University of Leeds. The lab was refurbished and opened again in 2009. As well as providing the Institute for Geophysics and Tectonics (IGT) with an expert facility for radiogenic isotope analysis we welcome collaborative enquiries from other University of Leeds partners and potential external users. Please use the contact details at the bottom of the page if you would like to discuss your project with us.


The laboratory analyses a variety of materials (silicates, carbonates) for the routine determination Sr and Nd isotope ratios. In addition, we have methods available for micro-Sr isotope analyses (< 10 ng Sr, silicates and carbonates), U-Th-Pb geochronology in carbonates, and are currently developing methods for the analysis of boron (metamorphic and volcanic rocks, carbonates and MOR glassess), Re-Os isotopes (ultramafic, mafic, sulphide, mudrock samples) and a high precision micro-Nd isotope analysis technique (< 10 ng Nd) suitable for particularly small samples of silicates and carbonates.

Laboratory facilities

The TIMS facility has its own dedicated 4 station clean lab for low blank sample purification with additional dedicated space for reagent purification and sample loading. The clean laboratory also has its own weighing room for sample preparation. In addition, there is a second larger preparation laboratory for routine sample digestions for Sr and Nd isotope analyses with a separate weighing room and clean sample preparation area.


The laboratory is equipped with a state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer equipped with 9 faraday collectors for simultaneous analysis of up to 9 isotope species and a single secondary electron multiplier for the analysis of samples where sample size or absolute elemental abundance is an issue. We also have a Micromass instrument that we have dedicated to B isotopes, as well as tools for microsampling.

Further Information

Dr Ivan Savov (i.savov(at) +44(0)113 343 5199

Dr Jason Harvey ( +44(0)113 343 4033


University of Leeds Thermo Scientific Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer

The TIMS laboratory has a dedicated 4 hood clean laboratory for low blank sample preparation

Research collaborator Dr.L.Metodiev working in the TIMS column lab and processing carbonate samples from belemnites for high resolution Sr isotope analysis aiming to reconstruct Jurassic paleoenvironmental conditions in SE Europe.

PhD students Julia Crummy and Teddy Castelain both used the Triton mass spectrometer for radiogenic isotope analysis as part of their dissertation projects.