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Services and Scientific Cooperation

1. Frame of Cooperation and Service

2. Instrumentation and Methods

3. Pricelist

4. Data Services

5. Software (coming soon)

1. Frame of Cooperation - Service - and Instrumentation

The team manages a major DFG and Baden-Württemberg funded research platform including a vast number of instrumental technics and applications under the umbrella of the ETIS - Environmental TRACE Isotope Infrastructure headed by Prof. Nobert Frank, Dr. Martina Schmidt and Dr. Sophie Warken, as well as the board of directors of the Institute of Environmental Physics and the Institute of Earth Sciences (the later in case of the Pico-Trace Clean Laboratories situated at INF234, 6th floor). The scientific reasons for the provision and operation of the instrumental systems (see Section 2) are described in applications for the funding program "large-scale research equipment" (INST35/1143-1 FUGG, INST35/1270-1) according to Art. 91b GG, as well as in an application of Heidelberg University to the Structure and Innovation Fund of the State of Baden-Württemberg (SI-BW). The key scientific aspects of our work are outlined on the website under research of the Physics of Environmental archives Team and through the websites of the Greenhouse Gases and Water Isotope Team and the former Physics of Isotopologes Team. Additional funding of ETIS infrastructure components came through the Exellence Initative II and individual DFG research grants. The concept of the ETIS infrastructure includes further building blocks of technical equipment at the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), which is available for the analysis of environmental trace substances and for the age determination of natural sediment archives, water, air, and ice samples. It further includes a growing collection of speleothems, tropical and cold-water corals, and seawater, and drinking water. ETIS forms an equipment center in Heidelberg that is accessible to national and international research initiatives and individual scientific projects through scientific collaboration or in particular cases to full service.

2. Instrumentation and Methods

The analytical platform includes the subsequently described Instrumentations and Laboratories, which are open to use as part of scientific cooperation and in cases full service.

  • Multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Source Massspectrometry (MC-ICPMS) (ThermoFisher Neptune+) equipped with a variable range of high resitance amplifiers and coupled to desolvating systems (ARIDUS and APEX HF) and autosamplers (ESI).

    MCICPMS Infrastructure
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Souce Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (ICPQMS) (ThermoFisher iCAP-Qs) equipped with a collision cell, a desolvating system APEX HF (ESI) and an autosampler (ESI)
  • 193 nm Laser Ablation System that can be coupled to either the MC-ICPMS or the ICPQMS (New Wave)
  • Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) equipped with a multiport inlet and baseline detectors and coupled to an automated carbonate dissolution and digestion system (ThermoFisher MAT253 + Gasbench II)
  • Cavity Ring Down Spectrometers (CRDS) for the study of CO2, CH4, H2O and isotopes (PICARO and Los Gatos)
  • A 14C preparation lab to extract CO2 from carbonate and water samples with contractual cooperation with the KTL in Mannheim (MICADAS - Ion Physics)
  • A PICOTRACE clean laboratory infrastructure (aerosol free and acid resitant environments) can be used to conduct chemical separation and purification processes
  • Numerous chemical preparation laboratories including HF capable fume hoods are available at the IUP
  • A Micro Milling System was established recently (2020)
  • A Diamant Band Saw exists to cut speleothems
  • A Sandblast equipment and Dremel tool are available for mechanical cleaning of samples.

The mass spectrometer and laser spectrometer instruments, the laboratories, and the sample collections are under the supervision of Prof. Norbert Frank (LA - MC-ICPMS, PICO Trace Laboratories, Radiocarbon Labs), Dr. Martina Schmidt (IRMS + Gasbench II and CRDS), Dr. Sophie Warken (LA-ICPQMS), and Dr. Andrea Schröder-Ritzrau (Chemical preparation labs at IUP and sampling equippement and sample collection).

If you are planning to use the available instruments and laboratories or are interested in the collection material please get in touch with the responsible scientists to check availability and other constrains (technical feasibility, available time slots, required funding, foundation of a scientific collaboration, etc ..)

Regarding the PUA and GGWI teams we offer scientific collaboration and scientific service including training to achieve results for the following methods:

services regarding Th/U dating on corals, speleothems travertine

A. High-precision 230Th/U age determination of corals, stalagmites, travertine, and calcareous tufa. Over the course of a year we process roughly 1000 high precision 230Th/U ages for our research and the one of our partners, feel welcome to get in touch with us to start your project.

B. Radiogenic isotopes (Nd) in corals and marine sediments, is another strong analytical field, in which we process hundreds to thousands of measures every year. Our data quality is visible through a large number of publications and we are in this field of geochemical trace isotope oceanography since 20 years with great success. The analytical infra-structure is up- to - date and we dispose the necessary clean laboratories for sample preparation.

C. Carbon and water isotope measures, with mobile laser spectrometers for example to track unwanted methane emissions or to determine the water isotope composition of rain and drinking water or ice, get in touch with the greenhouse gas and water isotope team of Dr. Martina Schmidt.

D. Laser ablation in-situ trace element measures, with the coupled laser ablation ICPQMS system to study of the elemental composition of secondary carbonates or other solid samples is a growing expertise of the team. Get in touch with Dr. Sophie Warken if your project requires such analysis.

For available prices of well established methods see list below.

3. Pricelist

The following prices are subject of negotiation in the context of project participation and are dependent on the degree of scientific cooperation and implication in the project. Please get in touch with the responsible scientist for a quotation (see list of applications and PI's above).
Last update 20.10.2021

  Project Cooperation* Scientific Cooperation** Independent Service***

A. Th/U dating
(corals / speleothems / travertine /
calcareous tufa /
other datable material)

250.- € 320.-€ 600.€

D. Laser - Ablation
(Solid polished sedimentary rock samples)

600.-€ / day 1000.- € / day  1200.-€ /day
C. 14C dating
(seawater /
speleothems /
corals /
other materials .. )
250.-€ 350.- € 600.- €
D. 143Nd/144Nd
(sediment leach /
corals /
other material )
70.-€ 120.- € 200.- €
Clean Laboratory
25.-€ / day 50.- € / day 100.- € / day


* Project cooperation does not necessarily require tax and overhead contributions by the University depending on the type of project and funding body.

** Scientific cooperation concerns punctuated measures with our scientific advise, quality control, and publication ready reporting and discussion on the use of the data and a mutual scientific benefit for the progress in science of both partner.

*** Independent Service is a punctuated cooperation for subjects, which are not of our scientific field, or excluding our expertise in discussing the data. We always favor * or **

Serveral methods and instruments are yet not included in this pricelist. Please contact the respective lead scientist to learn about the prices and cooperation and/or to receive a quotation.

If you are able to use our instruments yourself, i.e. to perform analysis independently and at respective high international standard you can also book the instruments. A requirement is a contact for clarification of your expertise and possible implication with the work of team members. In this case the pricelist above does not apply. Daily coverage of instrument costs are applied, including overhead and taxes, instead of fixed sample prices. Further information on those aspects will be provided soon.

4. DATA services:

The data produced during our research projects is published through scientific papers and subsequently stored in accessible databases such as the PANGEA data repository or specific databases such as SISAL. We hope to soon publish here further information on the available data sets and usable protocols. In any case, get in touch with us so we can direct you data, information, or other help.

The subsequent pictures resume the analytical infra-structure available in Heidelberg through ETIS.


lbore 2 the radiocarbon lab

Laser ablation and ICPQMS as well as IRMS for clumped isotopes

chemistry lab for the preparation of U and Th extraction

Last update: 26 June 2022