University of Vermont

Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and Geomorphology Research Group

Production Cosmogenic Laboratory

In-situ samples are extracted in the production lab which contains four fully exhausting, polypropylene laminar flow hoods. One hood is dedicated to low-level samples and has its own dedicated oven, centrifuge, and lab ware. The other hoods are used for digestion, column chemistry, and washing of samples with higher isotope concentrations. The lab contains a computer, as well as a glove box for target packing and a marble table and static reduction system for sample weighing. The lab is supplied by building deionized water which is polished with a Milli-Q A10 unit and supplied to the hoods by two remote dispensing systems.


Looking across the production lab toward the hoods used for high level in situ samples. Hood on left used for digestion. Hood on right used for columns and target preparation. Glove box for target packing in center.

All cleaning of labware is done in weak (1%) Nitric acid in a heated ultrasonicator. The sonicator is located in an under-counter vented cabinet to capture fumes and reduce noise. It's just to the left of the extinguisher.

We store supplies and equipment on open shelves. All sample processing equipment is stored in sealed, acid-washed plastic containers. This is the low-level side of the lab (color-coded yellow).

This fume hood is dedicated to very low-level samples, those with 10/9 Be below 10^-13. All chemistry for these samples is done in this hood. We reserve a full set of teflon ware and column racks for these samples.

Data handling and sample staging are done on a large island that has copious undercounter storage and provides a large, stable surface for the centrifuge.

We use a glovebox for grinding Be and Al oxides and packing targets. The box contains the toxic materials and provides a stable, static free environment for loading.

Weighing in quartz before digestion is done by two people. Balance, on the marble table, is connected to computer in the corner. Antistatic unit in the foreground. Pipettes used for Be and Al spike.

Sample digestion and acid evaporation are done on teflon coated hotplates with external controllers. Samples are always contained in racks to prevent accidental tip overs and to maximize heat transfer (speed evaporation).

Last modified April 06 2010 05:41 AM

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