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Welcome to the University of Iowa Thin Section Lab!

SisyphusSince 1966, the Department of Geoscience has maintained a full-service rock lab for the purpose of making research-grade thin sections by hand and teaching these techniques to students. Over forty years later, we proudly carry on this tradition by continuing to maintain a thin section lab and satellite processing room dedicated to the production of high quality thin sections, the preparation of geologic specimens for modern analytical methods, and the instruction of these techniques to students involved in research projects. We happily offer these same services to individuals and companies not affiliated with the University of Iowa at the lowest rates possible.

geology - microscopy - chemistry


Send us your samples!!!!

I’m pleased to announce that we are now accepting new clients! We are all caught up; turnaround time for a box of slides is back down to 2-3 weeks. So please, send us some rocks – the crew is going to mutiny if I have them clean the lab much more!!!


Not currently accepting new clients!

Due to high demand and a genuinely overwhelming workload, we are not currently accepting new clients. This is so we may continue to serve our clientele with the highest level of quality possible and we still strongly urge current customers to plan their orders with us before sending any samples. We hope to re-open the doors to new customers by August 2013.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Thanks for looking!


Congratulations once again, Katie!!!

For the second year in a row, thin section lab associate Katie Goff has been selected for commendation by student employment. She is one of three students (out of 8,000 student employees campus-wide) to receive a certificate of distinction for her contributions to her workplace.

Katie, I’m so very proud to share the lab with you!!!



Happy Fourth of July!!!!

We would like to take a moment to wish everyone a happy Independence Day! We had our fireworks display a day early and they were beautiful!

Jazz Fest Fireworks


We can also section ceramics…

We recently had the pleasure of sectioning some glazed porcelain pieces for our friends in the ceramics program. Shown here are micrographs of a piece of ceramic mug. We also sectioned holmium-glazed test cubes. Take a look here.