Pomona College XRF Laboratory

Pomona College

Contact Information

Jade Star Lackey




Instrument Type

Whole Rock Analysis: XRF X-ray Fluorescence

Panalytical Axios


Whole-rock analysis (major and trace element)

Typical Use:

The Pomona XRF is used for bulk analyses of all types of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks using a low-dilution (2:1) di-lithium tetraborate fusion protocol in graphite crucibles for most samples on which major and trace elements (15) are analyzed. Soils are analyzed for metals and other potential contaminants using pressed powder briquettes.

Conditions for Use:

  • Visitors are invited to work in the lab to work with lab personnel
  • Visitors are invited to work in the lab to design and do the work yourself

User Fees:

We do not charge for analyses but ask that visitors prepare their own samples and for high volume projects cover the cost of expendables.

Instrument Priorities:

The lab is dedicated to student and faculty research and supports several classes in Geology and Chemistry at the Claremont Colleges during semester-long research projects.

Remote Use:

No. It may only be operated on site but has a fully automated sample changing system.

Sample Preparation:

Samples are powdered and homogenized in a Rocklabs WC head and swing mill.

Standard Collections/Lab Blanks:

We have a full set of USGS standards for preparation of standards as beads and an additional 35 standards used in our calibration of the instrument.


Educational Use:

  • Class demonstrations are available for undergraduates
  • Undergraduate student research projects are invited
  • Graduate student research projects are invited
  • Faculty and students from other schools in the L.A. Basin are encouraged to to work in the Pomona lab to foster learning, collaboration, and equipment sharing in the region.

Support provided by:

The Pomona XRF Lab is funded by the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program of the National Science Foundations Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE 0942447 to J.S. Lackey, PI), Pomona College, and the Departments of Geology and Chemistry.

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