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The Sample Preparation Laboratory provides centralized sample preparation facilities, technical expertise, and training to users from many departments within the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and other Stanford Schools. The Sample Prep Lab is currently equipped for various sample preparation methods including sample crushing, grinding, and pulverization, sample cutting coring and drilling, and mineral separation for a variety of sample types such as rocks, minerals, soils, and plant tissues. The most common sample preparation workflows in the Sample Prep Lab are as follows: 

  1. Powdering samples for geochemical or isotopic analysis.
  2. Cutting/drilling/coring rocks for geophysical analysis or generating thin section billets.
  3. Separation of zircon and apatite from quartz and feldspar. Able to accommodate other mineral separations.

These work flows can be manipulated to accommodate other sample preparation needs. Reach out to the Laboratory Manager to learn more. Facilities are free to use and open to all Stanford affiliated students, staff, faculty, and visitors. The SDSS Sample Preparation Laboratory is very concerned with safe uses of machinery & chemicals and avoiding sample cross contamination. 

The Sample Prep Lab is a collection of six rooms in the sub-basement of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building. The lab rooms are listed below. Please navigate to the Equipment tab to learn more about the equipment in each lab room. 

  • The Rock Saw Room (Mitchell A54 & A56): Sample cutting, coring, drilling, bulk scale polishing.
  • The Rock Crushing Room (Mitchell A72 & A72B): Sample hammering, crushing, grinding, pulverizing, sieving.
  • The Gemeni Room (Mitchell A72A): Mineral density separation (Gemeni table)
  • The Mineral Separations Room (Mitchell A55): Mineral separations by magnetic properties, density, and grain size (micro-scale); mineral dissolution.  

For access to these lab rooms, read the training instructions under the Lab Access and Training tab or reach out to the Laboratory Manager.


Alex Grande (she/her)
Title: Laboratory Manager
Office Phone Number: 650-724-6628

Angela Halfpenny
Title: Director of Integrated Shared Laboratory Management; Principal Investigator
Office Phone Number: 650-736-1766


Mitchell Earth Sciences Building
397 Panama Mall
Stanford CA, 94305

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday; 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Extended hours available for some equipment after training probation period and demonstrated experience.