A novel diffusion method was used for preparation of NH4+- and NO3--N samples from soil extracts for N-15 determination. Ammonium, and nitrate following reduction to ammonia, are allowed to diffuse to an acid-wetted glass filter enclosed in polytetrafluoroethylene tape. The method was evaluated with simulated soil extracts obtained using 50 ml of 2 M potassium chloride solution containing 130-mu-g of NH4+-N (2.3 atom% N-15) and 120-mu-g of NO3--N (natural N-15 abundance). No cross-over in the N-15 abundances of NH4+-N and NO3--N was observed, indicating a quantitative diffusion process (72 h, 25-degrees-C). Owing to the presence of inorganic nitrogen impurities in the potassium chloride, the N-15 enrichments should be corrected for the blank nitrogen content.