Melbourne Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Melbourne TrACEES platform enables researchers to analyse the chemical compositions – including both elements and molecules – within a sample and on its surface.

Melbourne Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Sciences Platform (TrACEES) offers technology for conducting high-quality chemical, elemental and surface analyses, as well as instrument training, research and technical support. We also offer consultancy services.

We work with both academic and industry researchers. For example, we helped Bosch Australia solve a problem related to nickel-plated diode housings in its production pipeline, saving them around $A795 000 in 2019.

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Nodes of expertise

We work with researchers and clients in chemical, materials, environmental, food and life sciences disciplines across three areas of expertise, or ‘nodes’:


This node offers a range of chemical analysis techniques. These enable researchers to conduct experiments including screening for trace elements (for example in food), measuring elemental compositions of materials and conducting chemical analyses of solid samples such as plastics and essential oils.


This node offers a range of high throughput and fast turnaround techniques for chemically analysing soil and plant samples to determine their compositions and health. It also offers Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) accredited analytical tests.


This node provides surface elemental and morphological analyses that complement the services offered by Chemistry and Soil Nodes. It can also reconstruct high-resolution 3D structures of small objects and determine isotopic ratios used in geochemistry and geochronology.

Associate labs

TrACEES partners with several associate labs to offer unique capabilities, such as microbial, thermochronology, isotopes, magnetometer, single crystals and heavy ion beams.

Case study

Bosch Australia fixes its lead-free plating process

Bosch Australia used the TrACEES platform to identify and solve a problem on its production pipeline for nickel-plated diode housings.

Read more

Rows of blue and silver diodes on a metal platform



  • Headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometer (Hs-GCMS)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer (ICPOES)
  • Liquid chromatography mass spectrometer (LCMS)
  • Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometer (Py-GCMS)
  • Thermogravimetric analyser (TGA)


  • Gas chromatography for greenhouse gases (ghg-GC)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS)
  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)
  • Segmented flow analyser (SFA)
  • Total carbon and nitrogen analyser (TCN)
  • Total organic carbon analyser (TOC)


  • Electron microprobe analyser (EMPA)
  • Environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM)
  • X-ray computed tomography scanner (micro-CT)
  • Multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICPMS)

Associate labs

  • Quantative PCR for microbial quantification (qPCR)
  • Confocal laser scanning microscope(CLSM)
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LA-ICPMS)
  • Superconduction Quantum interference device magnetometer (SQUID)
  • Single crystal X-ray diffractometer (sc-XRD)

User information

The platform is open to academic researchers, government agencies and industry worldwide. Some instruments are accessible for trained users, and others are available on a fee-for-service basis or via collaborative access.

Other platforms

The platform can be used in conjunction with the:

Contact us

Book online using iLab

You can book this resource or platform using the iLab booking system. You will need to create an account before logging in. Access user guides and videos to help you set up an account and navigate the iLab system:

iLab booking system

If you're familiar with iLab and already have a login, visit the Melbourne TrACEES Platform iLab Core.

More information on this platform can be found on the Research Gateway, which is available to all University of Melbourne academic and honorary staff, graduate researchers and professional staff. To access the Research Gateway, login with your University of Melbourne username and password.