Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR)

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Area(s) of Expertise

The PCIGR is an integrated analytical facility that promotes innovative research and training in the solid earth, ocean, environmental, atmospheric and biological sciences. In this research-group-based facility, scientists and their students can exploit the synergy of a unique grouping of personnel, expertise and analytical infrastructure. The combination of 13 mass spectrometers and three laser-ablation systems, together with sample-preparation laboratories, makes this facility unique in Canada. Our dedicated and highly-qualified team of 11 research and support staff design customized analytical solutions to meet specific needs and challenges (e.g., small sample sizes, low-level analyses) while adhering to the highest standards of quality assurance and quality control protocols. The PCIGR provides high-quality analytical instrumentation, services and support for investigators from universities across Canada, government agencies, the mineral and environmental industries and the international community. In the past 10 years, the PCIGR has more than doubled its analytical capacity and become a major world-class geochemical facility.

What the facility does

Research, services and support in elemental and isotopic geochemistry

Research Services

Sample preparation, Method development, Radiogenic isotope analysis, Heavy/transition metal and light stable isotope analysis, High-resolution elemental analysis, In situ laser ablation, Geochronology

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Chemical industries
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries

Name of equipment

Description of function

Nu Plasma 1700 high-resolution multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Radiogenic and heavy/transition metal stable isotopes, especially challenging isotope systems (e.g. Fe, Cr, Si)

Two Nu Plasma II multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers

Radiogenic (Nd, Hf, Pb) and stable (Li, Cu, Zn, Mo, Cd) isotopes

Nu AttoM high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Elemental analysis of most elements in solution at sub-ppt level; low-level isotopic analysis

Element2 high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Elemental analysis of most elements in solution at sub-ppt level; in situ U-Pb dating (laser ablation)

Agilent 7700x quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Trace elements, in solutions and solid (laser ablation)

Resonetics RESOlution M-50-LR laser

In situ trace elements (laser ablation)

Nu thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Sr, Nd isotopes

Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Sr, Nd isotopes

VG354S thermal ionization mass spectrometer

U-Pb dating

VG54R thermal ionization mass spectrometer

U-Pb dating; Pb isotopes

Two Delta isotope ratio mass spectrometers

H, C, O, N isotopes

G5400 noble gas mass spectrometer

CO2 laser Ar-Ar dating

Three low-level trace-metal Class 100 clean rooms with Class 100 laminar flow hoods

Sample preparation in a certified clean environment, with strict gowning and access protocols, where airborne particles are controlled via specialized HEPA filters

  • R&D partner: Nu Instruments
  • MAGNET industry partners: Acme Analytical/ Activation Laboratories/ ALS Global/ Anglo American/ Arianne Phosphate/ Barrick Gold/ Golder Associates/ Lorax Environmental/ Rescan Environmental/ SiREM/ Teck Resources

Title

URL

PCIGR publications

http://pcigr.eos.ubc.ca/research-1/publications/

The accreted Wrangellia oceanic plateau in Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia

http://www.eos.ubc.ca/research/wrangellia/index.html

Posters and brochures

http://pcigr.eos.ubc.ca/news-media/media/brochures-posters/

Video 1: What is geochemistry?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6geGQS3qTEY

Video 2: What is a clean room?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol2rTMVbrZE

Video 3: How does a mass spectrometer work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6mO26EG_sk

Video 4: A Sweet Chemical Analysis https://youtu.be/gs6bTD9iC-A

nUBC

http://pcigr.eos.ubc.ca/about-us/nubc/

Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET)

http://www.magnet.eos.ubc.ca/