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Future ICP-MS Core Facility

Space in Strong Hall was designed specifically for an ICP-MS Core Facility, located in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) is an analytical technique that is used in a range of scientific disciplines to determine elemental compositions. Compared to other methods, such as atomic adsorption, optical emission spectroscopy, or ICP-atomic emission spectroscopy, ICP-MS has superior detection capabilities, which is essential for the measurement of rare earth elements (REEs) and isotopes.

The following pictures show the space available for the future clean labs and laboratory facilities, which will include future ICP-MS instrumentation for elemental and isotopic analytical geochemistry.  The following spaces are available for the successful candidate chosen to be our newest faculty member (See Employment Opportunities).

ICP-MS Core Facility

This is open lab space in Strong Hall, from which the clean labs and instrumentation lab space is accessible. All of these labs are located near the main elevators (including freight) for Strong Hall. This space can be used for any number of purposes, including benchtop chemistry, computer analysis, or sample preparation. The benches have gas, vacuum, and air lines, and there is building-supplied deionized water.

ICP-MS Core Facility

This customizable space is intended to house the analytical instrumentation in Strong Hall. We planned for a quadrupole ICP-MS and a multicollector-ICP-MS because the combination of both instruments would provide the greatest flexibility and sensitivity required for nearly all analytical geochemistry that occurs in EPS, as well as within other units on campus, and would even be attractive to potential users within the region. The quadrupole ICP-MS would be used to analyze solutions, from water to acid digestions of solid samples (e.g., rock, biological, agricultural, or engineered materials) with the addition of a laser ablation system. The MC-ICP-MS would provide sensitive isotopic analyses that would not be possible or practical using the quadrupole. Other instruments, such as a single-collector ICP-MS or a high resolution ICP-MS, are also possible. The double doors lead to an equipment corridor where Argon dewars, chillers, pumps, and other “back-of-the-house” instrumentation can be stored. The lab has an Argon gas manifold and a motorized cart is available to move dewars. The equipment corridor also have emergency power access for uninterruptible power.

ICP-MS Core Facility
This space is located off of a “changing room” and has positive air pressure and HEPA filtration. This lab space is intended to be used as “clean room” space.

ICP-MS Core Facility

This is a balance room inside the “clean room” space and also have HEPA-filtered air handling.

A panorama of the balance room (right side), looking into more clean lab space with two additional fume hoods, the door to the “ultraclean lab” (center) and a perchlorate hood (left-of-center).

A panorama of the balance room (right side), looking into more clean lab space with two additional fume hoods, the door to the “ultraclean lab” (center) and a perchlorate hood (left-of-center).

Tucked inside the “clean lab” is the “ultraclean lab” with three fume hoods and the highest level of HEPA-filtered cleanliness. This lab is overpressured, so air flows from here into the outer “clean lab” spaces. The fume hoods and cabinets are non-metal.

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