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About Us

FIRST@StonyBrook is an isotope mass spectrometry lab funded through a grant to Kirk Cochran, Troy Rasbury, and Gary Hemming awarded by the Major Research Instrumentation program of the National Science Foundation. Our mission is to establish a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry lab for analyzing geochemical samples with high quality and high throughput, while providing hands-on training in analytical techniques and scientific research for students and post-doctoral researchers   We welcome visiting scientists and students from other educational institutions to use our facilities.

Located in the Earth and Space Sciences Building at Stony Brook University and part of the Geosciences Department, the FIRST lab occupies the space of the original mass spectrometry lab established by Gil Hanson starting in 1972.
The two original NBS-built mass spectrometers, along with the Finnigan-Mat 262 multi-collector mass spectrometer installed in 1990, were retired last year to make room for a new thermal ionization mass spectrometer and a multi-collector ICP-MS. The lab was totally renovated from top to bottom and the first mass spectrometer, an IsotopX Phoenix X62 multi-collector thermal ionization mass spectrometer, was installed in October, 2011.  Shortly after the installation, a roof fire in the building caused irreparable damage to the mass spectrometer, but with the generous and fast response of Stony Brook University with major repairs to the lab and temporary financial support for equipment replacement, along with the incredible response from IsotopX, we were back up and running within six months of the disaster.  Shortly after the installation of the replacement mass spectrometer, our Nu Instruments multi-collector ICP-MS was installed.  After an exciting delivery through the third floor window of our building, installation went smoothly and by May 2011 we had a fully functioning lab in operation.  Since then, we have added laser capabilities to the ICP-MS, and we are have added a quadrapole ICP-MS for element analyses to complete our facilities.