Frequently Asked Questions

1.      I have a question. Who do I contact?
2.      Do you require a Purchase Order?
3.      What is the turnaround time for sample analysis?
4.      Can you rush my samples?
5.      Do you offer a discount for large sample sets?
6.      What forms of payment do you accept?
7.       How do I send samples?
8.      How do I get my samples back?
9.      I lost my data/weight sheets. Can you send me another copy?
10.     Where are you located?
11.      How does the KFLEB address chain of custody, data transparency, and data traceability?
12.     How do I acknowledge your facility in publications?
13.     What are your laboratory's best practices?
14.     What analytical standards does the KFLEB have? 
15.     What is METAL and what does the combination of GEL and KFLEB mean for users?

1.  I have a question. Who do I contact? 
For questions about ICP-MS, the general lab, and the clean lab, please fill out this form and contact Dr. Gwyneth Gordon ( For question about IRMS, please fill out this form and Contact Natasha Zolotova (

2. Do you require a Purchase Order? 
We require a purchase order for any invoice over $400, and we require a written estimates prior to analysis, regardless of project size. Having a PO can often streamline invoice payment by your institution, as well as assist users with budgeting and allocation. ASU internal users must submit an account number prior to running their samples. 

3. What is the turnaround time for sample analysis? 
We run samples in the order in which they are received. The average turnaround time for your data depends on the type of analysis and the amount of sample preparation. For simple elemental concentration measurements by ICP, prepared samples can be typically turned around within about a week. Sample preparation, however, can significantly extend turnaround times. If samples need to be cleaned, milled, digested, and diluted, this can take a month or more. In addition, if it is a new sample type, then method development or validation may be required which can substantially extend data turnaround. We focus on data quality, rather than speed of analyses.

For isotopic analyses by MC-ICPMS, properly prepared samples can be typically analyzed within two to three weeks. Sample preparation by either lab staff or users coming to our facility will typically require two to six weeks of additional time, depending on sample type, isotope system, and the work ethic of visiting students. Our ability to accept outside samples for isotopic sample preparation is highly limited by staff time.

Average turnaround time for gIRMS samples depends on current instrument configuration. Please contact Natasha Zolotova.

4. Can you rush my samples? 
We can usually expedite analysis and data processing, depending on the number of samples, type of samples, and type of analysis, but we cannot guarantee expedited service. Expedited samples will also typically incur additional expenses. Please let us know about any data deadlines or turnaround requirements prior to sample submission. Contacting lab staff prior to shipping your samples is required if you are hoping for expedited service.

5. Do you offer a discount for large sample sets?
There are some discounts for large sample sets. For Arizona public university researchers, the per-sample fee for <60 samples elemental concentration analysis by Q-ICPMS is $11 per sample. For >60 samples analyzed at one time, the per-sample fee drops $7.70. There are also charges for tuning up, calibrating, and validating instruments for running, charged per analytical session ($70 for Q-ICPMS and $400 for MC-ICPMS). For large sample sets, the analytical session fees are frequently waived. This is designed to discourage analysis of very small number of samples at a time, which is a highly inefficient use of instrumental and staff time. Refer to the price list for additional information. If you have any questions, please contact lab staff for a quote prior to beginning a project.

6. What forms of payment do you accept? 
We can accept purchase orders, internal cost transfers, or personal checks. For international customers, we can accept wire transfers, but there will be an additional $25 fee to cover the wire transfer fee we are charged. If making out a personal check, please make it out to “Arizona State University” and add “for deposit to PV5-1049” for ICP samples or “for deposit to PV5-1050” for gIRMS samples in the reference field. Do not send any credit card information.

7. How do I submit my samples?
Please contact us for specific instructions prior to sending your samples. We will not accept samples without prior contact. Samples that are poorly packaged, or without clear indication of chemical, radiological or biological hazards will not be accepted and will be returned without analysis.

Our shipping address is:
ASU School of Earth & Space Exploration
550 East Tyler Mall
PS-F Rm 686
Tempe, AZ 85287-1404
ATTN: Dr. Gwyneth W. Gordon or ATTN: Natasha Zolotova

If you are dropping samples off, there is typically someone available to receive them, but please email prior to arriving. The outer doors to our facility are locked. If you go to the south door of room F-081, there is a doorbell.

8. How do I get my samples back?
After analysis, samples will be retained for two weeks. If you want your samples returned, you must notify us prior to submitting samples. In addition, if future analyses are desired, it is the responsibility of the user to notify us prior to sample submission. Sample preparation for ICPMS may make a sample useless for other types of research (e.g., digestion may volatilize organic compounds, Hg, Se, Os, and a variety of other elements). For returning samples by mail, we prefer to ship by FedEx and request that users provide a shipping account number.

 9. I lost my data. Can you send me another copy?
The KFLEB lab retains all submitted paperwork, data files and invoices for three years. If you need another copy of your data, please contact Gwyneth Gordon. You are strongly encouraged to request all relevant information as soon as possible after sample analysis. For instance, if you will need details of sample digestion for publication, this is most easily and accurately compiled soon after sample preparation.

10. Where are you located? 
The KFLEB lab is located in the Bateman Physical Sciences Center F Wing, 550 E. Tyler Mall. The instrument lab is located in F-010, but we frequently meet users in F-080 to discuss projects. The doorbell to enter the facility is at the south door of F-081. GEL facilities are located in the Goldwater Center for Science and Engineering at 650 E Tyler Mall.

11. How does the KFLEB address chain of custody, data transparency, and data traceability?
Our facility uses a secure database with cloud backup to store all processed data. It has audit functionality and is suitable for maintaining chain of custody and ensuring data transparency and traceability.

12. How do I acknowledge your facility in publications?
We greatly appreciate users who cite use of our facility in the acknowledgements of publications or dissertations. If you place a statement such as “AUTHOR acknowledge use of the equipment and technical assistance (if relevant) of staff at the W.M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Inorganic and Isotopic Chemistry at Arizona State University.” Please forward any publications or scientific products (including blogs, podcasts) to

13. What are your laboratory's best practices?
Our laboratory's best practices regarding sample analysis are outlined in this document

14. What analytical standards does the KFLEB have available?
We have a wide variety of analytical standards available, including rocks, sediments, waters, and organic materials. Please see the full list here.

15. What is METAL and what does the combination of GEL and KFLEB mean for users?
KFLEB and GEL have combined to form the Metals, Environmental and Terrestrial Analytical Laboratory (METAL), and are one of ASU’s Core Research Facilities. Essentially, this means we’ve expanded our instrumentation and capabilities! The additional instrumentation addresses elemental analysis, surface area and porosity measurements, gas chromatography and isotopic analysis of greenhouse gases, ion chromatography, ICP-OES, and both discrete and flow-injection colorimetric analyses.