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Waikato Stable Isotope Unit (WSIU)

Welcome to the Waikato Stable Isotope Unit (WSIU)

The WSIU is based in the School of Science in the Faculty of Science & Engineering. It is primarily a research unit, and has the objective of promoting the use of stable isotopes in all branches of scientific research. The staff of the unit are highly experienced in the use of stable isotopes as tracers, particularly in biological and environmental research.

Isotope Analysis

Isotopic abundance analysis is carried out on a fully automated Europa Scientific 20/20 isotope analyser. Samples are combusted, and the resulting gases are separated by gas chromotography and then analysed by continuous-flow mass spectrometry. The emphasis of our work is on the isotopes 13C and 15N, and we offer the following analytical services.

Carbon: δ13C at natural abundance levels is measured to a precision of ±0.5% for routine samples. All samples are referenced to precalibrated C4 sucrose that is cross-referenced to Pee Dee belemnite.

Nitrogen: δ15N at natural abundance levels is measured to a precision of ±1% for routine samples. All samples are referenced to a urea standard that is traceable to atmospheric nitrogen.

δ13C in breath samples.

Total Carbon and Nitrogen Analyses

The WSIU also operates an Elementar Isoprime 100 analyser for total carbon and nitrogen measurements.


Costs

For the latest equipment and analytical costs for external clients, please refer to the Science & Engineering Services Fees Schedule.

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