Ultratrace laboratory of the CGS (operational since 2008) is pressurized space with controlled air cleanness (ISO 7, it answers to cleanness class 10,000), and controlled temperature and moisture in which is carried out sample preparation (mineralization, separation of element of interest from a matrices) necessary for purposes of isotope ratio determination by a method of mass spectrometer (TIMS, MC ICP-MS).
- 3 laminar hoods (ISO 5, corresponds to cleanness class 100)
- 2 digesters (Lamon, LAM 120)
- 2 nonstick (teflon) heating board (SCP Science, DigiPREP HP)
- 1 mineralization block (SCP Science, DigiPREP Jr.)
- 1 system of deionized water preparation (Millipore, Elox 5+ Milli-Q Element 2)
- 2 quartz distilling apparatuses for under boil distillation of acids (AHF, SAP-902IR)
- 2 nonstick (teflon) distilling apparatuses for under boil distillation of acids (Savillex, DST-1000)
- 1 centrifuge (Hettich, universal 320)
- 1 precision balances (Mettler Toledo, PB-403-S, 410g/0,001g)
- 1 analytical balance (Mettler Toledo, XP 205, 220g/0,01 mg) with installed antistatic sound
There is necessary to do separation of an analyzed element from all the other elements present in the sample (matrix) before the respective analysis of isotopic composition. The reason is to reach a coherent ionic beam and easier ionisation of ions and, first of all, prevention of isobaric interferences at measuring. The most common way of separation of chemical elements for isotopic analysis purposes is ionic exchangeable chromatography. Adjustment of a reversible balance between a stationary phase and mobile phase is the principle of chemical separation on ion exchangers (“ionex”). Stationary phase usually makes ion exchanger with acid or basic functional group on an internal bearer. The separation is going on in a glass, quartzite or plastic colony filled by stationary phase (ionex), through which runs the mobile phase (sample solution). Separation procedures on ion exchangers differ according to a size of separated sample, matrix composition, quantity of used ionex, and on size of chromatographic columns. Taking into consideration that during the sample separation can come to fractionation of isotopic abundances in some cases, the total yield of separation procedure near to 100 % is a necessary condition of successful separation.