MRI-R2: Acquisition of a Multiple Collector Inductively-Coupled Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) for Multi-Disciplinary Biogeochemical Research at Penn State

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

The multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) funded by this award allows Penn State University (PSU) geoscientists and biochemists, who have contributed to the use of intermediate mass isotope systems (such as Ca, Cu, Fe, Li, and Mo) over the past ten years, to extend their contributions in these research areas, lead new initiatives in method development, and train students in advanced research methods. The instrumentation will be housed in a state-of-the-art clean laboratory facility, managed within the multi-user, cross-campus Materials Characterization Laboratory, and run on a daily basis by a MC-ICP-MS specialist who will train new users and help incorporate the instrument into established courses focused on data collection and analysis.

The MC-ICP-MS will support research aimed at elucidating fundamental isotopic systematics that will aid geoscientists in the examination of the past using geochemical proxies. Such research clarifies how the Earth system operates, illuminates critical feedbacks (such as those in the weathering-climate system), and suggests strategies for reading the rock record. The PSU MC-ICP-MS will promote innovative scientific projects led by both senior and junior researchers in ways that external instrumentation cannot. The instrument will (1) increase the speed with which funded research projects are completed, (2) allow for future method development in new isotopic systems, (3) enhance student training, and (4) promote collaborative research between disciplines. The MC-ICP-MS will benefit >15 researchers at PSU and nearby institutions since no similar instrumentation exists within ~200 miles. Outreach activities, publications, and conference talks will guarantee regional and global impact of the instrument.

Effective start/end date3/15/109/30/13


  • National Science Foundation: $724,002.00


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