The Arizona LaserChron Center is an NSF multi-user facility that is designed to address problems in Earth Science through the generation of U-Th-Pb geochronologic data and complementary geochemical information by Laser Ablation ICP Mass Spectrometry. Our primary goals are as follows:

  • Generate U-Th-Pb ages, Hf isotope ratios, and trace element concentrations of the best possible precision, accuracy, and spatial resolution.
  • Provide opportunities for researchers from around the world (and especially NSF-supported scientists) to use our instruments and expertise to address geologic problems.
  • Push the development of new applications of laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry.
  • Enable researchers and students to learn the theory and analytical techniques of U-Th-Pb geochronology and Hf isotope geochemistry.

The main instruments utilized at the Arizona LaserChron Center include a Nu Plasma multicollector ICPMS, a Thermo Element2 single-collector ICPMS, two Photon Machines Analyte G2 excimer lasers, and a Hitachi 3400N SEM, all of which are dedicated to ALC research. These instruments were acquired with support from the University of Arizona, the National Science Foundation, and ExxonMobil Upstream Research. 

Support for the Arizona LaserChron Center is provided by the NSF Instrumentation and Facilities Program. The center is a multi-user facility, available to all NSF-supported researchers and students as well as researchers from around the world. NSF funding allows us to reduce the cost of NSF-supported research by ~50%, with additional support available to subsidize research conducted by students. Additional information about NSF multi-user facilities is available at

Please contact George Gehrels (Director of the ALC; for general questions about the lab, or Mark Pecha (Manager of the ALC; for specific information about analytical methods, schedules, costs, letters of collaboration, etc.