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Isotope analysis

Isotope ratios are measured to find small but significant differences in patterns between material from different sources. This technique can help you.

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The ALS difference

ALS offers a wide range of isotopes analysis with two different techniques, high-resolution ICP-MS (ICP-SFMS), and multi-collector ICP-MS (MC-ICP-SFMS). By combining commercial testing with a strong focus on research, ALS is taking the latest in isotope testing to our commercial clients worldwide.

Having more than a decade of experience in isotope analysis, both stable isotope testing and by combining commercial testing with our own research in the field, ALS is at the absolute forefront of isotopic ratio testing. We are the only commercial isotope laboratory offering isotope ratio analysis of heavy stable elements such as Si, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mo.

ALS Difference

Techniques & analytical methods

For isotope analysis, ALS Scandinavia uses different forms of ICP-MS, e.g. mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma as the ion source. The plasma is formed by argon gas flowing through a radio- frequency field. Among the advantages of ICP is the ease of sample introduction. Especially, solutions can be introduced continuously since the plasma operates at atmospheric pressure.

In most cases, the requirements on measurement uncertainty will determine which technique is most appropriate for a specific project


ICP-SFMS technique, a magnetic sector is used as the mass analyzer (SF = sector field), which distinguishes ICP-SFMS from the more common quadrupole ICP-MS (ICP-QMS). The sector technique is also called High-Resolution ICP-MS because of the higher mass resolution of the magnetic sector compared to the quadrupole. The precision in isotope ratio measurements by ICP-SFMS under optimum conditions is better than 0.05% relative standard deviation.


ALS has also access to multi-collector ICP-MS instruments for high precision isotope ratio measurements. In this technique, mass separation is based on a magnetic sector like in ICP-SFMS. Higher precision is made possible by simultaneous measurement of the isotopes by individual detectors. Isotope ratio precision down to 0.001% (=10 ppm) relative standard deviation can be achieved.


In the list below, you can find the isotopic systems that we routinely measure at ALS. If you can't find the isotopes you need in the list below, please to discuss the possibilities for us to develop the product.

Contact us for more information about sample amount requirements and prices, read more about our analytical packages.

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Screening analyses

Our semi-quantitative screening includes about seventy elements. This comprehensive analysis is useful for a number of applications


Trace metal analyses

ALS offers trace- and ultra-trace element testing with quantification limits (LOQs) matched by very few labs worldwide.