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COVID19 Update (08/24/2020):

The LIME labs have been approved for Yellow phase operations, and are gradually ramping up our research operations. We will accept samples for analysis by appointment; please contact the appropriate lab manager to make arrangements. Due to covid-19 safety guidelines, we are not scheduling any new student training at this time. Samples must be analyzed by the instrument operators or previously trained users with the approval of the lab managers.

We encourage anyone interested in LIME analyses to reach out to Sara Kimmig at srkimmig@psu.edu to discuss an approach forward during this time.

Thanks for your patience.


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.