G.G. Hatch Stable Isotope Laboratory

25 Templeton Street
Advanced Research Complex
Faculty of Science
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON Canada
K1N 6N5
Attn: P. Middlestead

Find us at:
25 Templeton Street
Advanced Research Complex (ARC)
Room 426

For all inquiries click here.

Paul Middlestead, Lab Manager
Tel: (613) 562-5800
ext. 6839 (office)
ext. 6836 (lab)

Dr. Ian Clark, Director

Organic Liquids Analysis Techniques


Carbon isotopes

Organic liquids are weighed into smooth-walled tin capsules. These capsules can be cold-weld sealed using a special instrument. Calibrated internal standards are prepared with every batch of samples for normalization of the data. In general, 300µg of C are required for analysis, although 100ug can also be easily done. Elemental analysis must be performed first if the quantities of carbon and/or nitrogen in a sample are unknown.

The isotopic composition of organic carbon is determined by the analysis of CO2 produced by combustion on an Elementar Isotope Cube Elemental Analyser followed by "trap and purge" separation and on-line analysis by continuous-flow with a DeltaPlus Advantage isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled with a ConFlo III. 

The routine precision of the analyses is 0.20‰.


  • Pella, E., (1990) Elemental organic analysis, parts 1-2. American Laboratory, Feb. & Aug.
  • Instruction Manuals for the elementar Vario Isotope Cube and the Thermo Finnigan DeltaPlus Advantage.
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Last updated: 2015.02.04