The ANU SHRIMP & SEM facility offers high-resolution ion microprobe analyses, allowing for precise measurements of stable isotopes, volatile elements, trace elements, and uranium-lead dating in solid materials.

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The Sensitive High Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP) measures ions on the 10-30 micron diameter and a few micrometers deep in solid materials. 
Users typically measure:

  • stable isotopes (O, S, C) to understand past environments in geological and archeological materials
  • volatile elements (C, H, S, N) to track geochemical cycles in planets
  • trace elements for understanding rock histories and materials synthesis
  • U-Pb for dating and understanding geologic histories.

ANU designed and developed the SHRIMP instrument and the lab currently includes: SHRIMP II, RG (reverse geometry) and SI (stable isotope). SHRIMP instruments are found in a number of laboratories overseas.

The group also oversees sample preparation facilities, Scanning Electron Microscopy, plus confocal and petrographic microscopes.

ANU SHRIMP users are in the following groups: Earth Systems ChemistryJacob GroupPaleoenvironments, and Experimental Petrology.

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Access & Contacts

Information on how to contact us and get access to the facilities.

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Scanning Electron Microscope

The RSES Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) has cathodoluminescence (CL), backscattered electron imaging (BSE) and qualitative electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS).

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SHRIMP analysis types

Stable and radiogenic isotopes plus trace and volatile elements can be measured using SHRIMP. The ion abundances are converted into actual concentrations and isotopic ratios using calibration procedures.

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SHRIMP instruments

Three ion microprobes (SIMS) are located at ANU. SHRIMP SI is the newest instrument and is dedicated to light stable isotopes. SHRIMP II is a versatile instrument that was a prototype for similar instruments worldwide. SHRIMP RG uses a reverse geometry design and is intended for ultrahigh mass resolution.

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Sample preparation

Find out more about the sample preparation process.

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SHRIMP principles

SHRIMP is primarily a mass spectrometer and so its operation is determined by well-defined principles of mass spectrometry. However, the use of the instrument can be changed through different configurations, such as changing polarity and sources to maximize sensitivity for stable isotope emission.

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SHRIMP history

SHRIMP has revolutionized geochronology allowing in situ U-Th-Pb analyses of U-bearing minerals in their petrological context. More recently, it is becoming the go-to instrument for stable isotope and trace element abundance measurements. This section outlines the development of SHRIMP.

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For the latest publication list check the ResearcherID List.

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External Links

Useful SHRIMP links

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Researchers also investigated material from a meteor that fell to Australia on its own. Inside, they found ancient stardust — the oldest solid material ever discovered on Earth.

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The SHRIMP lab

The SHRIMP Steering Committee is excited to announce the following recipients of “ANU Research School of Earth Sciences – SHRIMP Awards”. There was stiff competition for these awards and the Steering Committee were impressed with the exceptional quality of all of the applications listed below

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Laboratory Manager
SHRIMP facility