• Research

    The Cosmochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry research group uses small variations in the isotopic compositions of terrestrial, lunar and meteoritic materials to develop a precise chronology of the early solar system, and to understand the physical and chemical processes during the accretion and differentiation of asteroids and terrestrial planets.
    Our research mainly utilizes high-precision mass spectrometry, using both multi-collector plasma source and thermal ionization mass spectrometry.  All samples are prepared and chemically purified in ultra-clean laboratories.

    The main areas of our research are:

    • Chronology of the early solar system using short-lived radionuclides
    • Timescales and processes of accretion and core formation on asteroids and terrestrial planets
    • Origin and nature of the building blocks of the planets
    • Late accretion and the origin of volatiles in the terrestrial planets
  • Staff

    • Greg Archer, Post-Doc
    • Christoph Burkhardt, Research Associate
    • Jan Hellmann, Post-Doc
    • Nina Hellmann, MSc student
    • Sabine Hunze, Post-Doc
    • Christian Jansen, MSc student
    • Thorsten Kleine, Professor
    • Knut Metzler, Post-Doc
    • Jonas Pape, Post-Doc
    • Jonas Schneider, PhD student
    • Fridolin Spitzer, PhD student
    • Theodor Steller, MSc student
    • Elias Wölfer, PhD student
    • Emily Worsham, Research Associate
    • Chun Yang, PhD student

  • Equipment

    The Cosmochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory was founded in 2011 by Prof. Thorsten Kleine, and consists of:

    • 130m2 clean chemistry laboratory for reagent preparation, chemical dissolution and separation of samples under clean, contamination-free conditions (7 class 10 laminar flow hoods and 3 fume hoods).
    • A ThermoFisher Neptune Plus MC-ICPMS (installed 2011 - MIRC) for high-precision isotope measurements of Ti, Mo, Ru, Pd, Ag, Hf, W, Pt
    • A ThermoFisher Triton Plus TIMS (installed 2015) for high-precision isotope measurements of Cr, Sr, Ba, Sm, Nd
    • A ThermoFisher XSeries II quadrupole ICP-MS (installed 2011 - MIRC) for routine trace element analysis, including isotope dilution measurements

  • Publications

    Peer-reviewed publications produced partially or wholly in the Cosmochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory since its creation in 2011.


    58 – Shollenberger Q.R., Render J., Brennecka G.A. (2018) Er, Yb, and Hf isotopic compositions of refractory inclusions: An integrated isotopic fingerprint of the Solar System's earliest reservoir. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 495, 12-23.

    57 – Hopp T., Kleine T. (2018) Nature of late accretion to Earth inferred from mass-dependent Ru isotopic compositions of chondrites and mantle peridotites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 494, 50-59.

    56 – Kruijer T.S., Kleine T. (2018) Origin and Evolution of the Moon: Tungsten Isotopic Constraints, in: Cudnik B. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Lunar Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 1-9.

    55 – Kruijer T.S., Kleine T. (2018) No 182W excess in the Ontong Java Plateau source. Chemical Geology 485, 24-31.

    54 – Brennecka, G.A., Amelin, Y., Kleine, T. (2018) Uranium isotope ratios of Muonionalusta troilite and complications for the absolute age of the IVA iron meteorite core. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 490, 1-10.

    53 – Shollenberger, Q.R., Borg, L.E., Render, J., Ebert, S., Bischoff, A., Russell, S.S., Brennecka, G.A. (2018) Isotopic coherence of refractory inclusions from CV and CK meteorites: Evidence from multiple isotope systems. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 228, 62-80.

    52 – Hopp T., Fischer-Gödde M., Kleine, T. (2018) Ruthenium isotope fractionation in protoplanetary cores. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 223, 75-89.

    51 – Neumann W., Kruijer T.S., Breuer D., Kleine T. (2018) Multistage Core Formation in Planetesimals Revealed by Numerical Modeling and Hf-W Chronometry of Iron Meteorites. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 123: 2017JE005411.

    50 – Budde G., Kruijer T.S., Kleine T. (2018) Hf-W chronology of CR chondrites: Implications for the timescales of chondrule formation and the distribution of 26Al in the solar nebula. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 222, 284-304.

    49 – Matthes M., Fischer-Gödde M., Kruijer T., Kleine T. (2018) Pd-Ag chronometry of IVA iron meteorites and the crystallization and cooling of a protoplanetary core. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 220, 82-95.


    48 – Kleine, T. (2017). Tungsten Isotopes, in: White, W.M. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geochemistry: A Comprehensive Reference Source on the Chemistry of the Earth. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 1-5.

    47 – Herd C., Walton E., Agee C., Muttik N., Ziegler K., Shearer C., Bell A., Santos A., Burger P., Simon J., Tappa M., McCubbin F., Gattacceca J., Lagroix F., Sanborn M., Yin Q., Cassata W., Borg L., Lindvall R., Kruijer T., Brennecka G., Kleine T., Nishiizumi K., Caffee M. (2017) The Northwest Africa 8159 martian meteorite: Expanding the martian sample suite to the early Amazonian. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 218, 1-26.

    46 – Kruijer T., Kleine T. (2017) Tungsten isotopes and the origin of the Moon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 475, 15-24.

    45 – Kruijer T., Kleine T., Borg L., Brennecka G., Irving A., Bischoff A., Agee C. (2017) The early differentiation of Mars inferred from Hf–W chronometry. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 474, 345-354.

    44 – Bast, R. Scherer, E.E., Sprung, P., Mezger, K., Fischer-Gödde, M., Taetz. S., Böhnke, M., Schmidt-Beurmann, H., Münker, C., Kleine, T., Srinivasan, G. (2017) Reconciliation of the excess 176Hf conundrum in meteorites: Recent disturbances of the Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotope systematics. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 212, 303-323.

    43 – Kruijer, T.S., Burkhardt, C., Budde, G., Kleine, T. (2017) Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, 6712-6716.

    42 – Kleine, T., Walker, R.J. (2017). Tungsten isotopes in planets. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 45.

    41 – Gerber, S., Burkhardt, C., Budde, G., Metzler, K., Kleine, T. (2017). Mixing and transport of dust in the early solar nebula as inferred from titanium isotope variations among chondrules. Astrophysical Journal Letters 841: L17.

    40 – Render, J., Fischer-Gödde, M., Burkhardt, C., Kleine T. (2017). The cosmic molybdenum-ruthenium isotope correlation and the building material of the Earth. Geochemical Perspective Letters 3, 170-178.

    39 – Brennecka, G.A., Kleine, T. (2017). A low abundance of 135Cs in the early solar system from barium isotopic signatures of volatile-depleted meteorites. Astrophysical Journal Letters 837: L9.

    38 – Kleine, T., Wadhwa, M. (2017). Chronology of planetesimal differentiation. In: Planetesimals – Early differentiation and consequences for planets (eds. L. Elkins-Tanton and B. Weiss), Cambridge University Press.

    37 – Fischer-Gödde, M., Kleine, T. (2017). Ruthenium isotopic evidence for an inner solar system origin of the late veneer. Nature 541, 525-527.

    36 – Krabbe, N., Kruijer, T.S., Kleine, T. (2017). Tungsten stable isotope compositions of terrestrial samples and meteorites determined by double spike MC-ICPMS. Chemical Geology 450, 135-144.


    35 – Burkhardt, C., Borg, L.E., Brennecka, G.A., Shollenberger, Q., Dauphas, N., Kleine, T., 2016. A nucleosynthetic origin for the Earth's anomalous 142Nd composition. Nature 537, 394-398.

    34 – Budde, G., Burkhardt, C., Brennecka, G.A., Fischer-Gödde, M., Kruijer, T.S., Kleine, T., 2016. Molybdenum isotopic evidence for the origin of chondrules and a distinct genetic heritage of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous meteorites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 454, 293-303.

    33 – Bezard, R., Fischer-Gödde, M., Hamelin, C., Brennecka, G.A., Kleine, T., 2016. The effects of magmatic processes and crustal recycling on the molybdenum stable isotopic composition of Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalts. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 453, 171-181.

    32 – Hopp, T., Fischer-Gödde, M., Kleine, T., 2016. Ruthenium stable isotope measurements by double spike MC-ICPMS. Journal of Analytical  Atomic Spectrometry 31, 1515-1526.

    31 – Budde, G., Kleine, T., Kruijer, T.S., Burkhardt, C., Metzler, K., 2016. Tungsten isotopic constraints on the age and origin of chondrules. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 2886-2891


    30 – Brennecka, G.A., Budde, G., Kleine, T., 2015. Uranium isotopic composition and absolute ages of Allende chondrules. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 50, 1995-2002.

    29 – Nimmo, F., Kleine, T., 2015. Early differentiation and core formation: Processes and Timescales. In: The Early Earth: Accretion and Differentiation (eds. J. Badro & M. Walter). Geophysical Monograph 212, pp. 83-102.

    28 – Budde, G., Kruijer, T.S., Fischer-Gödde, M., Irving, A.J., Kleine, T., 2015. Planetesimal differentiation revealed by the Hf-W systematics of ureilites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 430, 316-325.

    27 – Cook, D.L., Kruijer, T.S., Leya, I., Kleine, T., 2015. Reply to comment by Peters et al. (2015) on “Cosmogenic 180W variations in meteorites and re-assessment of a possible 184Os–180W decay system”. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 169, 240-243.

    26 – Bast, R., Scherer, E.E., Sprung, P., Fischer-Gödde, M., Stracke, A., Mezger, K., 2015. A rapid and efficient ion-exchange chromatography for Lu–Hf, Sm–Nd, and Rb–Sr geochronology and the routine isotope analysis of sub-ng amounts of Hf by MC-ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical  Atomic Spectrometry 30, 2323-2333.

    25 – Matthes, M., Fischer-Gödde, M., Kruijer, T.S., Leya, I., Kleine, 2015. Pd-Ag chronometry of iron meteorites: Correction of neutron capture-effects and application to the cooling history of differentiated protoplanets. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 169, 45-62.

    24 – Fischer-Gödde, M., Burkhardt, C., Kruijer, T.S., Kleine, T., 2015. Ru isotope heterogeneity in the solar protoplanetary disk. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 168, 151-171.

    23 – Touboul, M., Sprung, P., Aciego, S. M., Bourdon, B., Kleine, T., 2015. Hf-W chronology of the eucrite parent body. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 156, 106-121.

    22– Kruijer, T.S., Kleine, T., Fischer-Gödde, M., Sprung, P., 2015. Lunar tungsten isotope evidence for the late veneer. Nature 520, 534-537.


    21 – Kruijer, T.S., Kleine, T., Fischer-Gödde, M., Burkhardt, C., Wieler, R. 2014. Nucleosynthetic W isotope anomalies and the Hf-W chronometry of Ca-Al-rich inclusions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 403, 317-327.

    20 – Rickli, J., Gutjahr, M., Vance, D., Fischer-Gödde, M., Hillenbrand, C. D., Kuhn, G., 2014. Neodymium and hafnium boundary contributions to seawater along the West Antarctic continental margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 394, 99-110.

    19 – Cook, D.L., Kruijer, T.S., Leya, I., Kleine, T. 2014. Cosmogenic 180W variations in meteorites and re-assessment of a possible 184Os-180W decay system. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 140, 160-176.

    18 – Burkhardt, C., Hin, R.C., Kleine, T., Bourdon, B. 2014. Evidence for Mo isotope fractionation in the solar nebula and during planetary differentiation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 391, 201-211.

    17 – Kruijer, T.S., Touboul, M., Fischer-Gödde, M., Bermingham, K.R., Walker, R.J., Kleine, T. 2014. Protracted core formation and rapid accretion of protoplanets. Science 344, 1150-1154.


    16 – Mezger, K., Debaille, V., Kleine T., 2013. Core formation and mantle differentiation on Mars. Space Science Reviews 174, 27.

    15 – Kruijer, T.S., Sprung, P., Kleine, T., Leya, I., Wieler, R., 2013. The abundance and isotopic composition of Cd in iron meteorites. Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences 48, 2597.

    14 – Hans, U., Kleine, T., Bourdon, B., 2013. Rb-Sr chronology of volatile depletion in differentiated protoplanets: BABI, ADOR and ALL revisited. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 374, 204-214.

    13 – Hin, R.C., Burkhardt, C., Schmidt, M.W., Bourdon, B., Kleine, T., 2013. Experimental determination of the Mo isotope fractionation factor between metal and silicate liquids. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 379, 38-48.

    12 – Kruijer, T.S., Fischer-Gödde, M., Kleine, T., Sprung, P., Leya, I., Wieler, R., 2013. Neutron capture on Pt isotopes in iron meteorites and the Hf-W chronology of core formation in planetesimals. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 361, 162-172.

    11 – Sprung, P., Kleine, T., Scherer, E.E., 2013. Isotopic evidence for chondritic Lu/Hf and Sm/Nd of the Moon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 380, 77-87.


    10 – Burkhardt, C., Kleine, T., Dauphas, N., Wieler, R., 2012. Nucleosynthetic tungsten isotope anomalies in acid leachates of the Murchison chondrite: implications for Hf-W chronometry. Astrophysical Journal Letters 753, L6.

    9 – Burkhardt, C., Kleine, T., Dauphas, N., Wieler, R., 2012. Origin of isotopic heterogeneity in the solar nebula by thermal processing and mixing of nebular dust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 357-358, 298-307.

    8 – Fischer-Gödde, M., Becker, H., 2012. Osmium isotope and highly siderophile element constraints on ages and nature of meteoritic components in ancient lunar impact rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 77, 135-156.

    7 – Henke, S., Gail, H.P., Trieloff, M., Schwarz, W. H., Kleine, T., 2012. Thermal evolution and sintering of chondritic planetesimals. Astronomy & Astrophysics 537.

    6 – Henke, S., Gail, H.P., Trieloff, M., Schwarz, W. H., Kleine, T., 2012. Thermal history modelling of the H chondrite parent body. Astronomy & Astrophysics 545.

    5 – Kleine, T., Hans, U., Irving, A.J., Bourdon, B., 2012. Chronology of the angrite parent body and implications for core formation in protoplanets. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 84, 186-203.

    4 – Kruijer, T.S., Sprung, P., Kleine, T., Leya, I., Burkhardt, C., Wieler, R., 2012. Hf-W chronometry of core formation in planetesimals inferred from weakly irradiated iron meteorites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 99, 287-304.

    3 – Stracke, A., Palme, H., Gellissen, M., Munker, C., Kleine, T., Birbaum, K., Günther, D., Bourdon, B., Zipfel, J., 2012. Refractory element fractionation in the Allende meteorite: Implications for solar nebula condensation and the chondritic composition of planetary bodies. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 85, 114.


    2 – Burkhardt, C., Kleine, T., Oberli, F., Pack, A., Bourdon, B., Wieler, R., 2011. Molybdenum isotope anomalies in meteorites: Constraints on solar nebula evolution and origin of the Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 312, 390-400.

    1 – Kleine, T., Rudge, J.F., 2011. Chronometry of meteorites and the formation of the Earth and Moon. Elements 7, 41-46.

  • Europlanet 2020 RI

    The Cosmochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry laboratory is a Transnational Access (TA) facility within the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI). Europlanet 2020 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208.

    For further information please visit the following website.

    For discussing possible projects to be undertaken within Europlanet please contact Thorsten Kleine.