Skip to main content

Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry -- Facilities

Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry Facilities


The Ultra-trace Forensic Science Center

The Ultra-trace Forensic Science Center (UFSC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a ~36,000 sq. ft-1 multi-directorate center focused on strengthening the nation’s forensic science capability by providing state-of-the-art analysis and research facilities in a clean, legacy-free building. The center was conceived to provide research expertise and support to multiple high-impact national security and basic science missions that rely on ultra-trace analysis as well as high-precision measurements. The UFSC was established in 2011 to provide a facility to house ORNL’s high precision chemical and isotope mass spectrometry instruments, which form the backbone of the analytical capabilities. The center also houses ORNL’s efforts in collection science and specialty sampling system development. In addition, the UFSC is equipped with  ~7400 sq. ft-1 of clean space ranging from Iso 5 through Iso 7 to maintain sample integrity throughout the analytical process. 

Take a virtual tour

Lab 104

Lab 104 in Building 1060 is often categorized as a “radiological cleanroom,” wherein only low levels of U (sub-milligram) and Pu, Th and Am (nanogram) are processed. Capabilities in the lab are two-8 foot chemical fume hoods, ashing furnace, analytical weighing, HEPA filtered dry-down boxes, and laminar flow hoods for ultra-trace sample processing.

Natural and depleted uranium samples are processed in Lab 40, with capabilities for microwave digestion, tube furnace ashing, analytical weighing and column purifications. Typically, less than single-digit gram quantities of uranium are processed at any one time.

Both labs are equipped with laminar flow hoods for storage of ultra-pure acids and labware; which reduces background and contamination levels.


The Ultra-trace Forensic Science Center