Research & development facilities

Research types

  1. Isotope dating (U-Pb, Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, Pb-Pb, K-Ar, 190Pt-He, U-Th-He methods) of geological processes, determination of their duration, improvement of the Precambrian geochronological scale; development of new approaches to determine isotopic ages of rocks and minerals, studying the behavior of isotope systems and isotope fractionation in natural processes.
  2. Determination of the concentrations and isotopic composition of Pb, U, Nd, Sm, Sr, Rb in ultra-small specimens (down to several ppm) of rock-forming and accessory minerals with an accuracy of 1 ppb.
  3. Isotope chemostratigraphy of sedimentary sequences in the Precambrian; reconstruction of the geochemical and isotope evolution of the ancient exosphere and the conditions of the life origin on Earth.
  4. Study of the structure, morphology, and composition of minerals and other substances on a high-resolution scanning electron microscope with an energy-dispersive spectrometer:
    – study of the morphological features of the sample,
    – images in secondary electrons (surface relief),
    – images in back-scattered electrons (topographical and compositional contrast),
    – non-destructive qualitative and quantitative analysis of chemical elements from boron to uranium with contents from 0.1%,
    – distribution of chemical elements along a given profile and over an area,
    – examination of samples in low vacuum without sputtering with a conductive layer.
  5. Study of the composition of minerals and other substances, as well as impurities using the wave-dispersive microanalyzer:
    – preparation of samples, assistance in setting the task and methodology for micro-X-ray spectral analysis,
    – highly accurate investigation of distribution of major and minor chemical elements in minerals (qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative analyses).

Basic equipment

No Equipment Year of manufacture
1 Thermal ionization mass spectrometer Finnigan MAT-261. Germany 1987
2 High resolution thermal ionization mass spectrometer TRITON TI. USA 2004
3 High resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer Element-2. Germany 2006
4 Scanning electron microscope TESCAN VEGA 3 SBH. Czechia 2015
5 Scanning electron microscope JEOL JSM-6510LA with an energy-dispersive spectrometer JED-2200. Japan 2010
6 Electron probe microanalyzer JEOL JXA-8230. Japan 2013
7 IR spectrophotometer Specord-80M. DDR 1987
8 Automatic Mössbauer spectrometer SMB-2201. Russia 1988
9 Mass spectrometer for isotopic analysis of helium. Russia 2009
10 Laser ablation system NWR 213 ESI. USA 2015
11 Isotopic mass spectrometer MI-150 "Argonius". Russia 2013
12 Isotopic mass spectrometer MSU-G-01. Russia 2007

Methods developed in IPGG RAS

  1. Unique experimental and analytical complex based on Finnigan MAT-261 and TRITON TI mass spectrometers and ultra-clean dust-free laboratories for isotope-geochronological study of rocks and minerals with metrological parameters of the best laboratories in the world.
  2. Dating of metamorphic processes using rock-forming minerals by Pb-Pb step-leaching, U-Pb and Sm-Nd methods (garnet, staurolite, sillimanite, andalusite, orthopyroxene, diopside, etc.).
  3. An innovative (190Pt)-He isotopic method for dating of native platinum is developed. The first direct determinations of the Pt-He age of native platinum were carried out.
  4. The U-Th-He method for determining the age of native gold was first developed, which was successfully applied for several gold deposits of the Russian Federation.
  5. For the first time in Russia, the technique of U-Pb geochronological studies of single grains and fragments of accessory minerals-geochronometers with cathodoluminescence control was realized.
  6. An original step-leaching method has been proposed and tested. This method allows extracting a primary material from ancient carbonate rocks suitable for obtaining stratigraphically significant Pb-Pb dating, which significantly improves the reliability of the obtained ages and extends potential of the Pb-Pb method for determining the age of Precambrian sedimentary rocks.
  7. The uncertainty analysis of the double isotopic dilution method for analyzing elements with at least two stable natural isotope ratios (Sr, Nd, Sm, Ca) is carried out. Equations that allow estimation of uncertainties of the quantitative and isotopic analysis of these elements and choose optimal experimental conditions are derived.
  8. A new approach for determination of diagenesis and epigenesis ages of clay sediments using the Rb-Sr method is proposed, based on a complex X-ray, electron microscopy and isotopic study of different sub-micron fractions of clay minerals of authigenic genesis.
  9. Theoretical models of the Rb-Sr and K-Ar isotope systems behavior in glauconite at nucleation and transformation of its structure have been developed, crystallochemical criteria for the suitability of this mineral for dating of early diagenetic and catagenetic processes have been refined.