The predecessor for CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry is the Isotope Geochemical Research Department under Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and this department is the earliest one dedicated to isotope geochemical research that was ever founded in China, where the first generation of isotope geochronological lab was established and the isotope geochemical research field was pioneered in China. With strong support from the CAS Experimental Knowledge Innovation Program, the relevant departments of the state and Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, rapid improvement was made in the experimental conditions, talent structure and research level and in various other aspects of CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry, where a research team based principally on high technologies and comprised mainly of middle age and young scientists was formed. The laboratory has achieved its leading status in many of its research fields and in analytical technologies and shows high visibility in the international academic community.
CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry has 26 permanent staff, among which there are 8 professors (including 2 laureates of the State Foundation for Outstanding Youth Scientists, 3 laureates sponsored by the CAS Program for 100 Outstanding Scientists, and 6 Ph.D. advisors), 9 research assistants, and 9 technicians, most of them are middle age to young scientists with Ph.D. degrees. Currently 17 Ph.D. candidates and 14 M.Sc. graduate students are enrolled here for education, in addition to 6 post-doc researchers who are still placed in the workstation in geochemistry. Prof. LI Xianhua serves as the director, while Prof. XU Yigang, WANG Yuejun and XU Jifeng as the deputy directors.
The research orientations for CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry are based on the advantages in isotope geochemistry field as attained by the laboratory, and involves the development of isotope geochronological and isotope tracing methods appropriate for various kinds of geological objects, the enhancement of theoretical study on multiple isotope system. It aims to explore key fundamental issues related to continental dynamics, oceanic-continental-crust-mantle evolution and interactions, resource formation and prospecting as well as global changes, etc. through isotope geochemical and geochronological study and map filling and division of structural regions and in association with continental dynamics and global change study, the two frontier fields in current geosciences, and to produce research achievements of internationally advanced level. Major research orientations include theory of isotopic tracing by using multiple isotope system, new technologies and new methods in isotope geochronology, chemical geodynamics dedicated to lithospheric evolution.
CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry is quipped with multiple large-scale instruments for element and isotope geochemical analysis, which are state-of-the-art at the international level and can satisfy requirements for element and isotope geochemical analysis of various kinds of rocks. Furthermore, the laboratory is capable of carrying out R&D for new technologies and new analytical methods. The large scale instruments in this laboratory include laser ablation microprobe, multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LAM-MC-ICPMS), rare gas isotope mass spectrometer, isotope ratio mass spectrometer for stable gas isotope analysis (IRMS), laser ablation microprobe – inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LAM-ICPMS), electron microprobe analyzer (EMPA), X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), low blank liquid scintillator, etc., in association with 180m2 super-purified chemical laboratory (with the highest purification level being up to 100), and laboratories for pretreatment of 14C, 10Be and U-Th isotopes.
After being admitted to the CAS Experimental Knowledge Innovation Program, CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry has undertaken 32 state level research projects funded by State 973 program, state brainstorm program, and China National Science Foundation, etc., and 21 research projects at CAS level, ministerial level or provincial level. Here the number of research projects undertaken by this laboratory totals 53, 4 of which were funded either by the state 973 program or by the state major scientific program at the second level, 4 of which were funded by China National Science Foundation for key programs, and 4 of which were funded by CAS Innovation Program. The funding for all these projects as mentioned above totals RMB￥36,520,000. It can be seen here that both sponsored project number and funding show a trend of quick increase.
The staff scientists of this laboratory have made their concerted effort for close cooperation in their research, and have achieved a batch of high level academic achievements in continental dynamics and environmental science, etc. Ever since 1999, more than 160 papers have been published in SCI journals (including more than 60 international SCI journal papers with the first authors being our staff scientists); and the total number of citations by other SCI papers of the articles authored by our staff scientists have exceeded 700 since 1999. Additionally, our staff scientists have delivered multiple congress reports at international academic conferences, and these reports have solicited extensive concerns among the international academic community.
Currently this laboratory is making its effort to optimize its talent structure by recruiting more young talents, and to conduct original research by taking advantage of its unique research methods. Meanwhile, the staff scientists here are seeking long term, progressively practicable and effective cooperative relationships with renowned research teams in the world, and hope in this way that they can help to make the laboratory to be sooner among the state key laboratories in China.