Sample Preparation

Sample Submission

UC Davis Plant Sciences

Oxygen (18O) and Hydrogen (D/H) Solid Sample Preparation


Required Elemental Amount*


 200 µg Oxygen

 Hydrogen (of keratin only)

 75 µg Hydrogen

*Please use the expected percentage of oxygen or hydrogen for your samples to determine the proper sample weight.  The SIF does not currently analyze non-keratinous materials for hydrogen. If you have any questions, please contact us at


Weigh samples into small silver capsules (3.5 x 5.0 mm) and organize into a clean 96-well tray; do not intersperse empty wells between samples. The lightweight capsules below, available in additional sizes, are less expensive, and reduce ash accumulation during analysis.


Manufacturer / Part#



Elemental Microanalysis (EA Consumables in the US) / D2303

Silver Capsules Pressed 5 x 3.5mm Light Weight


Elemental Microanalysis (EA Consumables in the US) / D2003 Silver Capsules Pressed 5 x 3.5mm 100/pk
Elemental Microanalysis (EA Consumables in the US) / E2079 Cell Well 96 Flat Bottom 10/cs
Elemental Microanalysis (EA Consumables in the US) / E2044 Cell Well 96 Flat Bottom Plate 1 plate
Elemental Microanalysis (EA Consumables in the US) / E2062 Cell Well 96 Round Bottom Plate 1 plate

Electron Microscopy Sciences /  70437-R1

96-Well Plate, Round-Bottom, With Lid


Electron Microscopy Sciences /  70437-R5

96-Well Plate, Round-Bottom, With Lid


BD Falcon / 320 353917

96-Well Round-Bottom Plates with Lid


EA Consumables / EA2044 Silicone Seal for 96 well plate 1 mat
EA Consumables / EA2079 Silicone Seal for 96 well plate 10 pack


1) Organize samples into a clean 96-well tray; do not leave empty wells.

2) For small samples, ensure they remain in the wells during shipping by placing an index card (cut to size) over the tray before securing the lid. Do not use Parafilm or adhesive tape to cover the open wells. Tape the lid securely closed using tape on all four sides. Turn the tray over and gently shake to test if samples stay in the wells or if the capsules leak sample material. Re-encapsulate any leaky capsules before shipping.

3) Label the lid of each sample tray with a unique name. Include this tray name in the Sample List. Results will include the unique tray name and well position (e.g., A1).

4) For enriched samples, arrange samples to avoid wide fluctuations in isotope content. Place non-enriched samples ahead of enriched samples within the same tray, or place non-enriched and enriched samples in separate trays.

Please read and follow the instructions carefully to ensure safe transit and appropriate handling of your samples.


IMPORTANT: Feathers from outside the U.S. must be accompanied with a copy of our USDA APHIS Permit. Please contact us for a copy of the permit to include with your samples. Any restricted, CITES, or other migratory bird species requiring permitting for import should be discussed in advance, as the permitting process may take months to complete.

Please complete the online Analysis Order Form and Sample List for your samples and email these forms to Please include a printed copy of these forms with your samples. The SIF uses this form to track your samples and to contact you regarding receipt of samples, data, and invoicing. For mixed analysis requests, we require the completion of a separate form for each type of analysis.

The sample list should include accurate sample weights. If more rows are required in the sample list, simply add the rows and continue the numbering in column A.

Also, please include:
- A general description of the material being analyzed including approximate elemental composition.
- The expected range of isotopic composition for enriched material.

Carefully package the sample trays to protect them during shipping. Single trays should be wrapped with multiple layers of bubble wrap and can be shipped in a padded envelope or box. Multiple trays should be banded or taped together and shipped in rigid box filled with packing material. Desiccants, such as Drierite, should not be included with samples unless contained within a spillproof, separate package.


Failure to properly package and protect trays often results in sample loss during shipping.

e-mail: | phone: 530-752-8100 | fax: 530-752-4361
UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility | Department of Plant Sciences
One Shields Avenue | Davis, California, 95616 | USA