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COVID19 Update (03/30/2020):

LIME is currently closed to prevent coronavirus spread. More information will be posted as soon as we know when we can re-open.


COVID19 Update (03/23/2020):

LIME anticipates being open only a few days early this week and will be shutting down soon to prevent coronavirus spread. More information will be posted as soon as we are shut down.


COVID19 Update (03/19/2020):

  1. The LIME labs are currently open for sample analysis by LIME lab personnel and trained users; please contact the appropriate lab manager to arrange for sample drop-off or instrument use.
  2. New user trainings are suspended until further notice to maintain distancing between personnel.
  3. Please use a new disposable lab coat each day when working in the LIME labs. Bringing your own goggles is encouraged; however, if you need to use LIME lab goggles, we will provide sanitizer.
  4. Please maintain a distance of 6 ft from others using the lab as much as possible.
  5. If you are sick, you must stay home; LIME lab personnel reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone exhibiting any signs of illness.
  6. Our current operating schedule is subject to change at any time, in accordance with declarations by Penn State administration and/or Governor Wolf.

The Laboratory for Isotopes and Metals in the Environment (LIME) at Penn State is a world-class facility for the measurement of isotopic ratios/isotopic composition (Ca, Cu, Fe, Li, Mg, Sr, U series, and Pb isotopes), major elements (e.g., Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, Si), and trace elemental compositions (e.g., rare earth elements, Pb) in a range of materials. In addition, we measure nontraditonal isotope systems including Ca, Fe, Li, Mg, and Sr. The main scientific applications of the data produced with LIME include: using isotopic and elemental compostion of samples as source tracers (i.e., provenance), as indicators of process (e.g., redox chemistry, mineral dissolution, recrystallization, petrogenesis), geochronology (i.e., telling time and constraining reaction rates on a range of time scales), and material characterization. The LIME facility offers access to various high precision instruments for isotopic and chemical characterization.  In addition to state-of-the-art instrumentation, LIME offers clean chemistry laboratories for sample preparation as well as a class 1000 clean laboratory space designed for sample preparation prior to isotopic analysis. Materials that can be analyzed in the LIME laboratory include organic/biological (e.g., tree rings, bone, animal tissue), geologic (e.g., silicates, oxides, sulfides, metals, carbonates, etc.), natural waters (e.g., brine, surface water, ground water stream water, soil pore fluid), and synthetic (e.g., ceramics, thin films, glass). Interested users are encouraged to contact LIME to discuss the analysis of interest and the sample preparation procedures that may be required to attain high quality analyses for the specific sample type. In addition, our LIME technical staff will work with faculty and students to assist in the determination of how the LIME geochemical tools can be used to answer specific research questions.

Internal Rate:  Instrument time: $59.00/hr, Operator time: $54.15/hr.
External Academic Rate: Instrument time: $143.95/hr, Operator time: $86.57/hr.
External Non-Academic Rate: Instrument time: $148.45/hr, Operator time: $89.28/hr.