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Analytical Facilities


The Harquail School of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University is equipped with an impressive array of analytical instruments, allowing students and researchers to conduct cutting edge research. The analytical methods accessible to our students and researchers allow collection of chemical, physical, structural information from a variety of materials (minerals, rocks, glass, soils and water). Get a virtual tour of our key analytical instruments via our ArcGIS StoryMap!



Geochemical Fingerprinting Lab:

Composed of a Resonetics M-50 193 nm wavelength ArF excimer laser ablation system and an X-Series II Quadrupole ICP-MS (Thermo Scientific™) allowing ppb-level element concentration and U/Pb isotope analyses for geochronological purposes.


MERC-Isotope Geochemistry Lab: 

Houses a Tescan Vega 3 scanning electron microscope with integrated CL and EDS systems, a Photon Machines Analyte G2 193 nm wavelength ArF excimer laser ablation system, and two ICP-MS instruments: 1) an iCAP-TQ™ Triple Quadrupole ICP-MS (Thermo Scientific™) and 2) a Neptune Plus™ High Resolution Multicollector ICP-MS (Thermo Scientific™). The MERC-IGL specializes in high-precision U-Th-Pb, Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotope ratio analyses for geochronology and other isotope geochemistry applications. Visit the MERC Isotope Geochemistry Lab page to learn more about booking and fees.

Visit the MERC-Isotope Geochemistry Lab page.


Micro Analytical Centre (MAC) 

  • Scanning electron microscope JEOL6400: Equipped with an Energy-Dispersive Spectrometer detector (SEM-EDS) along with a Chroma CL detector and an Electron Backscatter detector; runs with AZtec software, which includes the image-analysis software FEATURE. View Scheduling Calendar. 
  • X-ray diffractometry (powder and single-crystal). View schedule.
  • Raman spectroscopy (Horiba Jobin Yvon XploRA). View schedule.
  • Petrographic microscopy (Olympus BX51, reflected and transmitted)
  • Cold-cathode optical cathodoluminescence

Read more about the Micro Analytical Centre (MAC) Here.


Other Facilities Include:

  • Fluid Inclusions Lab, used for microthermometric studies to characterize ore-forming fluids and prepare sample for LA-ICP-MS and SEM-EDS analysis
  • Photography Lab, View Schedule. This lab is equipped to take pictures of thin sections and specimens. 
    Equipment: Olympus BX41 (reflected and transmitted) and an Olympus SZ61 stereomicroscope with a boomstand and ringlights. Both microscopes are equipped with Lumenera Infinity cameras. A PC with the software is available, however you may prefer to use your own PC with free Infinity Analyze software, however a Teledyne account is required to get the software. Infinity Analyze 7 software can be downloaded here: https://www.lumenera.com/products/microscopy/infinity-analyze.html. You may want to capture multiple .tif images and then stitch them together with an image processing software of your choice, for example Adobe Lightroom. Contact Tobias Roth to gain access to the lab. View Schedule. 
  • The Ontario Geoscience Laboratories, in which many of our analytical labs are housed, further complements our analytical services and conveniently provides a wide-range of analytical services to our researchers.