The laboratory deals with a problematic of geochemistry of light elements stabile isotopes since the year 1967. During a long history of the Department and also today its staff has ever tried to connect through a development of analytical methods with a direct application of isotopes geochemistry in a number of areas of geological sciences. Most applications and solved projects were heading in the past to areas of economic geology and to research of sediments. There is, in the last years, an obvious majority of application in geochemistry and biochemistry (study of processes in the environment), in paleoenvironment analysis, in hydrogeology and hydrology.
Geochemistry of stabile isotopes of light elements follows natural changes in ratios of stable isotopes (most frequently 2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 34S/32S) in natural materials. Changes in ratio of stable isotopes of individual elements are caused by small differences in their physical and chemical properties. Accurate measuring of these isotope ratios enables better specify sources of these elements, their tracing during physical-chemical processes, quantification and balance of observed systems. For a respective measuring of isotope ratios it is necessary to transfer the observed elements to a form of simple gases (H2, CO2, N2 or SO2). The Department devotes, therefore, a considerable effort to a development and improvement of sample preparation.