In November 2016, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences took possession of a series of new sample preparation and wet-chemistry laboratories, including a metal-free clean laboratory. From January 2017, all cosmogenic nuclide sample preparation and chemistry work moved to these new labs. 

 Floor plan showing laboratory spaces used for cosmogenic nuclide sample preparation and chemistry work

Floor plan showing laboratory spaces used for cosmogenic nuclide sample preparation and chemistry work

 

Sample handling and quartz purification

Initial sample handling (e.g., washing and sieving) is performed in a dedicated 'dirty' lab (Sample Handling Laboratory) and quartz purification is performed in the Geochemistry Sample Preparation Laboratory equipped with two fume cupboards, an Elix water purification system, a froth-floatation system, and hot-dog rollers for hydrofluoric acid leaching. The laboratory also has numerous ovens for sample drying and a setup for performing heavy-liquid separation. Magnetic separation using a Frantz Magnetic Barrier Separator is also performed in the Geochemistry Sample Preparation Laboratory

 

Metal-free clean laboratory

The layout and built-in services of the new metal-free clean laboratory have been specially designed to allow for a large number of concurrent users and the sharing of space by methods that would otherwise require separate rooms, due to the high-risk of contamination. To this end the clean laboratory is equiped with two custom-built high-capacity fume cupboards suitable for the fuming of multi-litre volumes of hydrofluoric acid and perchloric acid, and two custom-built evaporation stations, each with six independent evaporation chambers. The laboratory is also equipped with two ductless fume cupboards and four ductless vertical laminar flow cabinets.