The Plasma Chemistry Laboratory at CAIS is an analytical geochemistry laboratory specializing in the analysis of nutrients and elemental analysis in biological, environmental, geological, archaeological and other materials.

The laboratory is equipped with a Perkin Elmer 8300 ICP-OES for the analysis of nutrients and major elements. We have a wet-chemistry lab fitted with a digestion block, a Milestone Ethos microwave, and supplied with ultra-pure water. We also have access to a class 100/1000 Cleanroom for processing sensitive samples, upon request. Please note that we do not use HF in our digestion procedures and therefore for soils and silicates we offer a leach analysis rather than a total digestion. For further information, please see our Resources or contact us.



Sample Submission Guidelines

If you are a first-time client (or a repeat client requesting a different service) please contact us before sending your samples so we can help you choose the right analysis for your samples. If you are a returning client please give us a heads-up when you’re sending samples.

1. For water samples, or if you plan to do the digestions yourself please refer to our Sample Preparation Guidelines for information on preparing the samples.

2. Label tubes clearly with a unique identifier. Close the lids tightly and seal well with parafilm. For liquids, cell pellets, or animal tissue, seal the tubes in a plastic bag with some paper towel or an absorbent pad in case of leaks (for fizzy liquids or alcohol please double-bag, with absorbent in the second bag as well). Package in a crush-proof box or container. Proteins, cell pellets, and animal tissue should be shipped frozen in an insulated box with dry ice.

3. Complete the Plasma Chemistry Laboratory Sample Submission Form, and include a printed copy in the shipment (outside of the bag for animal, cell pellet, or liquid samples). For cell pellets and animal tissue please record the sample weights on the sample submission form. If you are sending more than 10 samples, please also e-mail us an electronic copy of the sample submission form or a sample inventory.

4. Address the package to:

Attn: Plasma Chem Lab
Center for Applied Isotope Studies
120 Riverbend Rd.
Athens, GA 30602

Please note we do not receive samples on weekends or holidays so please DO NOT select any Saturday or weekend delivery options. For frozen samples, please try to time your shipment so the samples do not spend the weekend on a truck or in a warehouse (i.e., ship them on a Monday or Tuesday so they arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday).

5. Local clients may drop off samples with a completed sample submission form Monday – Friday (excluding UGA holidays) 8:30am – 4:30pm.


Analytical Fees & Turnaround Times

Standard turnaround time is 2 – 8 weeks, but it may take longer if we run into unanticipated issues. Our current rates are in the tables below. Non-UGA samples: minimum charge per invoice is $250; Rush (expedited) service is not available at this time. UGA samples: no minimum charge per invoice; please contact us to inquire about small sample sets and Rush service.

**Please note: we will be updating our rates for samples received after December 31, 2023, unless you have an existing estimate dated less than one year earlier and have not yet submitted those samples.**

If you require a formal quote, please let us know the sample type, number of samples, type of analysis and sample preparation required, and what elements you need. We accept payment by check or online by credit card. UGA clients are encouraged to use their SpeedType. If you need to pay by wire, please contact Janice Lackey. If you plan to pay by purchase order (PO) and you work at a university or large company you will most likely need a formal quote before you can request a PO, which should be done before submitting samples. Please reference the PO No. on your submission form and send a copy of your PO to If you need to pre-pay or set us up as a vendor in your purchasing system, please contact Angela McLendon. For training, demos, or large/ongoing projects please contact us.


Sample Prep Analytical Fees Chart
StandardInternal (USG/Emory)
Pre-processing (freeze-drying, milling, sieving, ashing), 1-5 samples$5n/a
Pre-processing (freeze-drying, milling, sieving, ashing), 6 or more samples$10$5
Digestion/leach (includes dilution), per sample
Dilution (for submitted solutions that are out of range), 1-5 samples$5
Dilution (for submitted solutions that are out of range), 6 or more samples
ICP-OES Analytical Fees Chart, per sample
StandardInternal (USG/Emory)
WW-CAL, 1-2 elements
WW-CAL 3-20 elements (includes pre-set 20-element program)$40$25
WW-CAL 21-30 elements
Additional elements, each
Element & Standard Lists (periodic table view)

Element & Standard Lists (text view)

ICP-OES Elements & Standards (Listed in order of Atomic Number)

  • WW-CAL Standards: Li, Be, B, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Ba, Tl, Pb, Ce.
  • Internal Standard: In.
  • Measureable by ICP-OES upon request: S, Sc, Ga, Ge, Rb, Y, Zr, Nb, Ru, Rh, Pd, Sb, Te, Cs, La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Os, Ir, Pt, Au, Bi, Th, U.
  • Not recommended for ICP-OES: Cl, Br, I, Hg.
  • Not measurable by ICP-OES: H, He, C, N, O, F, Ne, Ar, Kr, Tc, Xe, Pm, Po, At, Rn, Fr, Ra, Ac, Pa, Np, Pu, Am, Cm, Bk, Cf, Es, Fm, Md, No, Lr, Rf, Db, Sg, Bh, Hs, Mt, Ds, Rg, Cn, Nh, Fl, Mc, Lv, Ts, Og.