Center for Geochemical Analysis

The Geochemical Research Laboratory at the University of South Florida specializes in the determination of low level trace metals in a variety of materials including rock, water, environmental samples (e.g., soil, sludge), biologic materials, and synthetic aqueous materials. Instrumentation includes a Perkin Elmer Avio 200 ICP-OES with ESI SC-DX-2 FAST Autosampler, a Perkin Elmer Nexion 2000P Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer coupled to a ESI Prep FAST IC and a Perkin-Elmer Elan DRCe Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer coupled to a Cetac-Teledyne LSX 213 Nd-YAG Laser Ablation system. The Lab also houses a new model Thermo-Dionex Integrion HP-IC for analysis of Anions and anion complexes. We provide analyses to the public, research institutions, government agencies and universities. Please contact Shannon Letscher for more information on the lab capabilities or book time on any of our instruments by please going to the pilot studies work request and fill out the form. Include number and type of samples and state any funding available to complete this work.

Sample preparation

We maintain two analytical "wet labs" for the routine dissolution of rock, soil and biologicals for compositional study, via mixed acid attack, chelating extraction or by classical fluxed-fusion methods. Our second, "clean" laboratory space maintained as a B, Li and Be - free space, which we use to prepare samples for light element analysis, for ultra-trace element determinations by ICP, and for the preparation of samples for Li and B isotope ratio determinations. Geoscience also maintains a full cutting and crushing facility that includes a SPEX Shatterbox and SPEX Ball mill with both WC and 99.9% pure Alumina grinders. For more information on our sample preparation facilities please contact us.


The University of South Florida Geochemical Research Laboratory employs the strictest quality control methods available. We use only certified reference materials where applicable for both standard calibrations and QC standards. A set of independently certified standard is inserted into each run at regular intervals to ensure ongoing running accuracy, precision and drift. All standards and reagents are purchased by reputable sources and are diluted with de-ionized type I reagent grade 18 Megaohm*cm-1 resistance water. Distilled acids are produced in our clean room facilities and used readily in cases where determination of concentrations below 0.1 ug/L is required. Accuracy of the testing is guaranteed. More details about our methodology are available upon request.

Additional facilities

Also available at USF are research grade petrographic microscopes with both transmitted and reflected light capabilities several modern binocular microscopes with photographic capabilities. We maintain a full thin section preparation laboratory.

USF Geosciences also has full access to a remotely-operated JEOL 8900R SuperProbe Electron Microprobe and JEOL 5900-series Scanning Electron Microscope (EMPA/SEM) system housed at Florida International University in the Florida Center for Analytical Electron Microscopy (FCAEM). These instruments were obtained via a collaborative NSF grant for the use of geoscience faculty at all the major Florida universities. The system is run from desktop computers via an Internet 2 high data density connection, and provides full, real-time optical and backscatter graphics, as well as the full spectrum of quantitative micro-analysis options.


Pricing and Sample Submissions

For more information or to book instrumentation time, please contact Shannon Letscher