André E. Lalonde Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Laboratory

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

National centre for environmental radioisotope analysis and research that addresses issues related to earth and environmental sciences, nuclear energy and health sciences

Area(s) of Expertise

The A. E. Lalonde AMS Laboratory uses Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), other specialized mass spectrometers and radiometric counting equipment to provide analyses of long-lived radioactive and rare stable isotopes for earth, planetary, environmental, biomedical and archaeological sciences, as well as for forensic, authentication and reference material development applications. Sample-specific chemistry laboratories are available in-house to provide extensive sample extraction and preparation services for a wide variety of materials and applications. Lalonde AMS specializes in the development and validation of AMS and sample preparation techniques and procedures for new materials and applications.

Research Services
  • Radiocarbon Analysis
  • Radioiodine Analysis
  • Tritium Analysis
  • Noble Gas Analysis
  • Actinides and Fission Product Analysis
  • Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis
Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services

Specialized Lab



Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

High Voltage Engineering 3 MV tandem accelerator mass spectrometer equipped with high mass-energy product injection and analysis magnets

Measurement of isotope ratios for long-lived radioactive and rare stable isotopes over the full range of elements (masses 3 to 280, isotope ratios from 10-10 to 10-15)

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

Research Injector Line

  • Can be connected to the AMS system or operated independently
  • Development and testing of new prepared sample materials, operation of the Isobar Separator

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

Isobarex Isobar Separator for Anions (ISA)

Uses radio-frequency quadrupole ion-guided reaction cell to remove unwanted isobars (other elements with the same mass as analyte) by ion-gas collisions

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

Perkin Elmer Quantulus Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC)

Radiometric measurement of beta particle emitting isotopes (e.g. Tritium)

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

Ortec Hyper-Pure Germanium Well Counter

Radiometric measurement of gamma-ray emitting isotopes

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Hall

Canberra–Mirion Hyper-Pure Germanium Well Counter


Radiometric measurement of gamma-ray emitting isotopes

Tritium Sample Preparation Laboratory

Electrolytic tritium concentrator (custom built)

Concentrates tritium in aqueous samples for higher sensitivity measurements

Tritium Sample Preparation Laboratory

Helium-3 in-growth equipment (custom built)

Seals low level tritium to capture 3He decay of tritium for high sensitivity detection (e.g. organically bound tritium)

Noble Gas Sample Preparation Laboratory

Thermo Scientific Helix SFT™ Split Flight Tube Noble Gas Mass Spectrometer

Measurement of helium and neon isotope ratios

Noble Gas Sample Preparation Laboratory

Thermo Scientific Helix MC Plus™ Multicollector Noble Gas Mass Spectrometer

Measurement of noble gas isotope ratios (argon to xenon)

Radiocarbon Sample Preparation Laboratory

Semi-automated sample combustion line (Thermo Fisher Scientific, custom adapted)

High temperature (elemental analyzer) combustion of samples, cleaning and encapsulating of resulting CO2

Radiocarbon Sample Preparation Laboratory

Semi-automated graphitization lines (custom built) (3)

Converts CO2 to filamentous graphite on the surface of an iron catalyst for AMS analysis

Actinide and Fission Product Sample Preparation Laboratory

Flow-through tube furnace (custom built)

For oxidation and trapping of iodine isotopes from solid samples

Radiohalides Sample Preparation Laboratory

Iodine isotope extraction and purification equipment (custom built)

To extract iodine in any oxidation state, purify and produce AgI for AMS analysis

Radiohalides Sample Preparation Laboratory

Katanax X-300 Fusion Fluxer

Dissolution of rock samples for efficient extraction of radioisotopes

  • University of Ottawa - Ján Veizer Stable Isotope Laboratory
  • University of Ottawa - Walker Marine Organic Geochemistry Laboratory
  • Laval University - Centre for northern studies
  • Dalhousie University - Terrestrial Cosmogenic Nuclide Facility
  • University of Ottawa - Geochemistry Laboratory
  • University of Ottawa - Canadian Museum of Nature Microanalysis Laboratory
  • University of Calgary - Isotope Science Lab
  • Isobarex Corp.