Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Physics of Isotopologues

Analytical facilities

  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometer for high-precision clumped isotope analysis

    The new mass spectrometer MAT 253 Plus from Thermo Fisher Scientific is equipped with 10^13 ohm resistors at masses 47-49 and includes a background monitoring cup. Both components are expected to enable a higher precision and to better monitor and correct for possible background noise.

  • CO2 extraction and cleaning line for clumped isotope analysis

    The CO2 line is used for converting carbonate samples into highly pure CO2. The carbonate is reacted with 105% phosphoric acid at 90°C and the evolving CO2 is continuously collected. This gas is afterwards crygenically distillated, i.e., potential atmospheric components and water are separated from CO2. The final stage includes the removal of isobaric interferences caused e.g. by hydrocarbons on mass 47.

  • Gas bench II for automated analysis of oxygen and carbon isotopes of carbonate samples.
  • Carbonate clumped isotope and conventional carbon and oxygen istope ratio analysis

    An isotope ratio mass spectrometer with suitable specifications for carbonate clumped isotope measurements has been granted and will be order soon. The department has a Finnigan MAT 252 IRMS for stable H and O analyses.

  • Systems for controlled mineral precipitation dedicated to isotopic studies

    Various systems for the controlled formation of carbonate minerals is available and setup in the institute. In particular, temperature-stabilized environments (typically better +-0.2°C) are used for the experiments.

  • Cavity ring-down spectrometer for isotopic analysis of water vapour in µl-samples

    A cavity ring-down based laser spectrometer was installed with the aim to precisely determine the d18O and dD values of minute water amounts extracted from fluid inclusions of speleothems and other suitable minerals.

  • Fluid inclusion line for noble gas extraction from speleothem samples

    This specialised line is used for in-vacuo crushing of selected speleothem samples. It is attached to a gas purification line and leads to a GV5400 noble gas mass spectrometer. Typical samples sizes are about 1g carbonate which yields fluid inclusion water and gas amounts on the order of µl.