A Caltech Library Service

The Isotopic Anatomies of Molecules and Minerals

Eiler, John M. (2013) The Isotopic Anatomies of Molecules and Minerals. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 41 . pp. 411-441. ISSN 0084-6597.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Most natural compounds are composed of diverse isotopologues that differ in the number and/or symmetrically unique atomic locations of isotopic substitutions. Little of this isotopic diversity is observed by conventional methods of stable isotope geochemistry, which generally measure concentrations of rare isotopes without constraining differences in isotopic composition between different atomic sites or nonrandom probabilities of multiple isotopic substitutions in the same molecule. Recent advances in analytical instrumentation and methodology have created a set of geochemical tools— geothermometers, biosynthetic signatures, forensic fingerprints—based on these position-specific isotope effects and multiply substituted isotopologues. This progress suggests we are entering a period in which many new geochemical tools of this type will be created. This review describes the principles, background, analytical methods, existing applied tools, and likely future progress of this emerging field.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Additional Information:© 2013 Annual Reviews. This review benefited from discussions with many current and former members of the Caltech laboratories for geochemistry, particularly Alex Sessions, Jess Adkins, Matthieu Clog, Daniel Stolper, Alison Piasecki, and Paul Magyar, and the engineering staff of Thermo’s Bremen mass spectrometry group. Matthieu Clog performed the mass scan of CO2 illustrated in Figure 3 of this paper. Thanks also go to Nathaniel David for suggesting the term “isotomics” as a catch-all phrase describing the information content of molecular isotopic diversity. This work benefited from funding from the National Science Foundation, Caltech, and Petrobras.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:stable isotope, isotopologue, isotopomer, clumped isotope, position-specific isotope
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130822-141651621
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40911
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Aug 2013 19:30
Last Modified:23 Aug 2013 19:30

Repository Staff Only: item control page