Element and Heavy Isotope Analytical Laboratories - GLIER

University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
What the facility does

Elemental and isotopic microanalysis of environmental tracers

Areas of expertise

Element and Heavy Isotope Analytical Laboratories at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER).

Trace and ultra-trace elemental and high precision isotopic laser ablation microanalysis of geologic, biologic, and environmental media to characterize metal cycling in natural, aqueous systems, and resulting from anthropogenic influences.

Research services

Laser ablation microsampling, high sensitivity elemental analysis, high precision isotopic analysis, solution nebulization analysis, solid and liquid sample preparation, direct mercury analysis, microwave digestion, infrared/ultraviolet/visible microscopy and image analysis, confocal Raman spectroscopic and atomic force microscopic analysis, microthermometric analysis

Sectors of application
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab



Elemental and Heavy Isotope Analysis

Agilent 7900 quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer with collision cell

Ultra-high sensitivity elemental analysis


Thermo Neptune multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer with pump and interface upgrades

High precision and high sensitivity isotopic ratio measurement


Agilent 720 inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer

High sensitivity elemental analysis

Laser Ablation Microsampling

PhotonMachines Analyte Excite 2 193 nm, short pulse width (< 4 ns) excimer laser ablation system with HelEx sampling cell

Laser ablation microsampling


PhotonMachines Analyte.fs2 266 nm, femtosecond (< 130 fs) laser ablation system with HelEx sampling cell

Laser ablation microsampling

Direct Mercury Analysis

Milestone DMA-80 Direct Mercury Analyzer

Rapid, direct analysis of mercury in solid samples (e.g., tissues)

Fluid Inclusion and Image Analysis

Olympus BX-51/61 microscopes (3) with transmitted, reflected, UV/VIS/IR, image analysis and Linkam thermo/cryo stages

Long (to 2200 nm) wavelength infrared imaging for non-transparent materials (e.g., chitinous shells, sulphide minerals)

Laser Ablation Sample Preparation

Logitech sample (diamond disc and wire saw, polishing and lapping equipment) preparation

Sample preparation facility for laser ablation of delicate geologic, biologic and environmental materials

Microwave Sample Digestion

CEM Microwave Accelerated Reaction System (MARS) 5 microwave digester

12-place sample holder

Ultratrace Clean Lab

Fully equipped, HEPA-filtered Clean Lab facilities

Full suite of clean (Class 1000 and better) lab facilities for sample preparation


  • Auburn University
  • Western University
  • McGill University
  • Ohio State University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • University of Vermont
  • Thermo Scientific Inc.
  • Photon-Machines Inc.
  • Isomass Scientific Inc.



$6.7 million given to U of W researchers to study Great Lakes (Windsor Star - May 24, 2013)


Fish Bones, Lasers and Heavy Metals: Tales of Environmental Exposure http://windsorstar.com/news/scientist-to-dicuss-study-of-pollutants-in-fish-ear-bones

Testing sewage to see community infection levels