The Centre for Trace Element Analysis, hosted by the Department of Chemistry, specialises in the analysis of the metallic elements and their isotopes for wide-ranging applications in the earth, environmental, climate, planetary, archaeological and biomedical sciences. Projects as diverse as past and present climate change, to the migration practices of prehistoric humans, to cell-transfer and metabolism in the human body can be investigated using these elemental and isotopic systems.

The Centre’s instrumentation consists of a multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICPMS) equipped with high-resolution capabilities for high-precision isotopic analysis, a quadrupole ICP-MS primarily for elemental composition analysis, and two supporting laser ablation systems for use on either machine. A ‘Class 10’ (ISO 4) ultra-clean laboratory supports sample preparation activities at the Centre.