Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR)

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
What the facility does

Research, services and training in elemental and isotopic geochemistry

Area(s) of Expertise

The Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR) is a world-class integrated analytical facility that fosters leading-edge research in the natural sciences. Primarily focused on the Earth sciences when established in 2002, the facility’s capacity has since significantly evolved to include applications in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology, quite literally from ‘A’ to ‘Z’. The unique synergy of our 16 state-of-the-art instruments, sample preparation clean laboratories, resident research team, and highly qualified support staff makes PCIGR one of the world’s best analytical facilities. Our analytical versatility is unsurpassed, allowing users to attain high-precision element and isotope measurements throughout the periodic table, down to the micron-scale and nanogram level in a wide variety of substrates.

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 training for investigators from universities across Canada, government agencies, the resource and environmental industries and the international community. In the past 10 years, the PCIGR has more than doubled its analytical capacity and become a global leader in analytical innovation and research excellence in geochemistry.

Research Services

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

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • 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

Specialized facility 

Equipment

Function

nUBC

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. Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Silicon (Si))

 

Nu Plasma II multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Radiogenic (Neodymium (Nd), Hafnium (Hf), Lead (Pb)) and stable (Lithium (Li), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Molybdenum (Mo), Cadmium (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; in situ analysis coupled with laser ablation

 

Agilent 7700x quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Trace elements, in solutions and solids (laser ablation)

 

Resonetics RESOlution M-50-LR laser

In situ trace elements and Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) dating (laser ablation)

 

Nu thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Strontium (Sr), Neodymium (Nd) isotopes

Clean Labs

Three (3) 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

LaserSpot

Howiba XplorA Plus 532 nm Raman microscope

Preparation, imaging, and data processing of both in-situ and micro-analysis

 

Nikon Eclipse Ci-POL petrographic microscope

Preparation, imaging, and data processing of both in-situ and micro-analysis

 

Nikon SMZ18 binocular microscope with C-FDF light source

Preparation, imaging, and data processing of both in-situ and micro-analysis

 

Nikon DS-Fi2 camera with Nikon Digital Sight DS-U3

Preparation, imaging, and data processing of both in-situ and micro-analysis

 

New Wave Research (ESI) MicroMill with Olympus SZ61 optics

Preparation, imaging, and data processing of both in-situ and micro-analysis

Element Lab

Element2 high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Elemental analysis of most elements in solution at sub-ppt level; in situ analysis coupled with laser ablation

 

NWR193UC laser

In situ trace elements (laser ablation)

MC-ICP-MS Lab

Nu Plasma multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer

Radiogenic (Neodymium (Nd),  Hafnium (Hf), Lead (Pb)) and stable (Lithium (Li), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Molybdenum (Mo), Cadmium (Cd)) isotopes

Radiogenic TIMS Lab

Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Strontium (Sr), Neodymium (Nd) isotopes

Stable Isotope Lab

Delta isotope ratio mass spectrometers (2)

Hydrogen (H), Carbon (C), Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N) isotopes

Geochronology Lab

VG354S thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) dating

 

VG54R thermal ionization mass spectrometer

Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) dating; Lead (Pb) isotopes

  VG5400 noble gas mass spectrometer Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser Argon-Argon (Ar-Ar) dating

R&D partners:

  • Nu Instruments
  • Savillex

MAGNET industry partners:

  • Geosyntec Consultants
  • Golder Associates
  • Lorax Environmental
  • Nu Instruments
  • Teck Resources

BeeHIVE research partners:

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • BC Ministry of Agriculture
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Hives for Humanity
  • Worker Bee Honey Company

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

PCIGR posters and brochures

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

PCIGR video library

http://pcigr.eos.ubc.ca/news-media/media/videos/

nUBC

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

Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET)

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

Bee Health, Impact, and Value in the Environment (BeeHIVE) UBC Research Excellence Cluster

https://beehive.ubc.ca/

Indigenous/Science UBC Research Excellence Cluster

https://indigenousscience.ubc.ca/