Earth Sciences Sample Preparation Laboratory


The Earth Sciences Sample Preparation Laboratory (ESSPL) at The University of Newcastle is a well established and efficient sample preparation laboratory that utilises the collaboration of our highly skill thin sectionist, academics and technical staff.

Dr Yanyan Sun, Earth Science Thin Sectionist (Sample preparation, thin section analysis and petrography).


Our range of equipment covers standard thin section samples to mineral separation and analysis facilities. Some of the services we offer include, but are not limitied to:

  • Standard and polished thin sections
  • Fluid inclusion thin sections
  • Standard polished block samples
  • SEM samples
  • TEM samples
  • Laser ablation samples with or without zircon picking

For any additional or specialised requests, please talk to our thin sectionist Dr Yanyan Sun.

Dr Yanyan Sum has over 15 years experience in creating and analysing thin sections. Her expertise has been recognised and acknowledged in several publications for producing professional and high quality thin section samples.

Our samples are produced to high quality research and publications standards. Samples take approximately three weeks to completed, from date of sample submission to the laboratory. Any additional needs are to be discussed with Dr Yanyan Sun and may require looking at the samples prior to commencement of work in order to gauge the additional hours and / or materials needed.

Any additional structural or geochemical analysis of the samples need to be discussed with the technical coordinator.


Our range of equipment and analytical programs include high resolution thin section scanners in both polarized and cross polarized light, microscopy photography software, Leica Application Suite thin section photography and annotation software and Petrog Digital Petrography software. Some of the analytical services we offer include, but are not limited to:

  • Description of the observations made for each thin section prepared
  • Modal analysis by point counting, which provides information on the relative volume of each mineral in the sample
  • Specialised field of analysis such as structural geology, sedimentology, speleothem, igneous petrology and metamorphism
  • Point counting
  • Compositional data capture
  • Textural data capture
  • Grain size annotation
  • Data review


For a complete price list please click here.


Please note, you must consult either the technical coordinator or thin sectionist prior to submitting a request. They will confirm the work required, and provide a quote.

If you have completed a consultation, please submit your request by completing the Earth Sciences Sample Preparation Request Form.


Dr Yanyan Sun
Earth Science Thin Sectionist (Sample preparation, thin section analysis and petrography)
4921 5409
Earth Science Building, Room GG19

Murray Kendall
Earth Science Technical Officer (Thin section assistant)
4913 8124
Earth Science Building, Room G104

Taylor Whiston
Earth Science Technical Coordinator (Management of sample preparation facilities, invoicing and logging / approving sample submissions)
4921 5409
Earth Science Building, Room G104 &
Social Sciences Building, Room SR184

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