First Time Users
In order to run samples on the Finnigan MAT253, you must set up an account
annually. We prefer to issue a blanket Purchase Order (PO) of at least
$5000 which gives the user the option of submitting additional samples
for analysis during the year. We do not charge against this PO until the
samples are actually analyzed. Think of a blanket PO as your credit limit
at the Facility. If you wish us to issue a PO for a specific
number of samples and then wish to submit additional analyses during the
year, you will have to fill out this form for each sample submission.
Please complete the
First Time Users
Form, to begin
Having received thousands of samples in all variety of vials and slides, we have
preferred methods of packaging and shipping.
Please click here
(shipping.procedure) to see pictures of our requirements. We have never
lost bugs when shipped as described.
Please read the
Sample ID and
Data Entry sections, fill out the
mass-spec data entry
and email it to your WHOI contact.
For help in filling out this spreadsheet, refer to this
You need to also tell us exactly how you want the samples analyzed. For instance,
if you placed 7 specimens in a well of the micropaleo slide, do you want us to run all 7
as one analysis, or 7 individual analyses?
We prefer to receive carbonate powder or otoliths in glass vials - NOT plastic -
which have static problems.
The reason we are so specific about the kind of shipping containers we receive is because
we want to analyze all the carbonate you send to us. Static is the enemy!
The mass spec reaction vessels
are quite large compared to the quantity of carbonate
we typically analyze. The trick is to get all of the carbonate to the
bottom of the reaction vessel.
This is a view of the
mass spec carousel.
One vial is filled with methanol which we use to transfer small
powdered carbonate samples.
We also do not roast or pretreat our samples before analysis. It is up to you to do so, if
you believe it necessary.
We do wash our sediment samples in 3% hydrogen peroxide and sodium hexametaphosphate
to remove organic material. We did an
experiment with rose bengal stained
live benthic forams with no treatment and with a 2 minute sonication in
3% hydrogen peroxide. The stained live forams contained significant protoplasm
before the treatment and none after. Our philosophy is to do as little as necessary
to the samples in preparation for analysis.
We do not wish to make assumptions about your data.
First time users of the Finnigan MAT253 with the Kiel III Carbonate Device
need to appreciate some inherant quirks of the hardware and software and
how we have chosen to deal with those quirks.
The MAT253 used to analyze your stable isotope samples uses two parallel CO2 extraction lines named
"1" and "2" which acidify the carbonate at 70°C. As these lines are not identical,
they produce slightly different numbers for standard data and thus we use different VPDB
conversion values for each line. When we analyze your data, we first send preliminary data followed
by final data when a piece of hardware changes (bellows, capillaries etc.) and we close a block
of data. These blocks can be thousands of datapoints long and can be run over many months. We
use all the NBS19 standards within each data block to produce a different VPDB conversion number
for the 1 and 2 lines. The preliminary data sent to you has been converted to VPDB with the
most recent conversion numbers but should NOT be used for final publication. I will
automatically send you the final data when it becomes available,
usually 3-4 months following the preliminary data. The final data does
not normally change by more than a couple of hundredths of a per mil and
therefore will not change your analysis of the preliminary data.
You have received all the data which we have run for you.
We cull our own data based upon the criteria contained in this
We would finally like to request that you send us reprints of any publications
which contain data run on our machine. Similiarly, you can also just email
us the citation to include in the
Recent Publications section of this
web page document.