This proposal seeks partial funding (CHF 750‘000 of a total of CHF 1‘500‘000) for a new multicollector - inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) at the Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva. The requested equipment will complement the radiogenic isotope facility within the Department of Mineralogy, which features two thermal ionization mass spectrometers for precise isotope ratio analysis of radiogenic isotopes, and two noble gas mass spectrometers for 40Ar-39Ar geo- and thermochronology, as well as recently acquired quadrupole ICP-MS and different mass spectrometers dedicated to the analysis of organic compounds in the Platform of Mass Spectrometry of the Faculty of Science. The new equipment will be placed in a new clean-air mass spectrometry room within the Platform of Mass Spectrometry of the Faculty of Science at University of Geneva.
The MC-ICP-MS will promote the development of new research directions within the Section of Earth and environmental sciences, the Faculty of Sciences of University of Geneva and in collaborations with Universites of Lausanne and Neuchâtel such as (1) analysis of Sr, Nd, Hf isotopes in various minerals to trace magmatic evolution at variable scales from crustal growth along continental margins down to fractional crystallization in the melt; (2) analysis of stable isotopes from elements of intermediate and high atomic weight (such as, e.g., Si, Fe, Cr, Zn, Se, Cu, Hg, Pb, U) for a variety of research activities in marine and sedimentary geochemistry, paleoclimatology, molecular biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology, hydrogeology, or limnology; (3) precise analysis of Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes in minerals, rocks, environmental samples for geological, forensics, archeometric, climatic and other applications; (4) precise analysis of U and Th isoptopes in sedimentary and volcanic rocks for studying disequilibrium in the U, Th decay series for magma chamber studies and paleoclimatology; (5) applications in pharmaceutical sciences such as drug characterization and quantitative element tagging in metabolomics; and (6) coupling of the multicollector ICP-MS to gas or liquid chromatography and other pre-selective chromatographic methods and to analyze metal isotopes from transient signals of separated and characterized organo-metallic complexes.
From an international call for offers in 2010 only one offer was obtained, for the NEPTUNE Plus from ThermoFisher Scientific (Basel), with a total price of 1,5 mio CHF. The offered equipment fulfills all the requirements of the internationally published specification list, and is the only equipment that allows direct coupling of liquid chromatography to the MC-ICP-MS as well as quantitative, on-line treatment of transient signals.
Upon delivery, the equipment will have a devoted laboratory responsible at the level of a Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche, who will take care of the installation, quality assessment, maintenance, and the general management of the facility including introduction of internal and external users as well as development of measurement procedures.
This proposal seeks a 50% funding of the total sum of CHF 1’500’000; matching funds are already available from the Rectorate, the Faculty of Science and the Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences of University of Geneva, and from the Faculty of Geosciences of University of Lausanne (total of CHF 430’000). Further funding will be requested from the University of Neuchâtel and from local foundations in Geneva in 2011 (CHF 90’000), and from Rectorate and the Faculty of Science of University of Geneva in 2012 (CHF 230’000).
The purchase of a multicollector ICP-MS, eventually linked to a laser system for in-situ sampling will be a perfect complement to the new ionprobe center at University of Lausanne (SwissSIMS), which will host a CAMECA ims1280 starting 2013.