NanoSims and Stable Isotope Analytical Facilities. The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom:
The Planetary and Space Sciences (PSS) facilities are hosted by CEPSAR (Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research). All research laboratories are underpinned by high-quality supporting laboratories and dedicated technical staff.
The main strength of the analytical facilities in PSS is the determination of light element stable isotopic composition using a variety of world-class analytical tools. The isotope labs are supported by a suite of analytical tools (e.g. analytical FIB-SEM, Raman, FTIR, etc) for the characterization of samples and all necessary support labs (chemistry labs, sample prep labs, clean rooms, etc). Additional analytical tools may be available within the Faculty as required (e.g. electron microprobe, ICPMS, FEG-SEM, TEM, etc).
NanoSIMS 50L: is the latest generation of Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (Ion Microprobe) instrumentation, allowing high sensitivity compositional analyses of up to 7 species (elements, molecules or isotopes) simultaneously at anominal spatial resolution of down 50 nm, and with high mass resolution. The instrument has two primary ion beam sources (oxygen and cesium), a secondary electron imaging system, 7 adjustable electron multipliers for high sensitivity (ppb level) 3 of which can be swapped for Faraday Cups for high abundance multi-collection measurements.
The instrument is capable of per mil precision stable isotope ratio measurements on few micron spots as well as high resolution isotope ratio and element mapping. For further information contact Dr Ian Franchi
Stable Isotope Facilities: Two different systems are available, both based around Thermo MAT 253 mass spectrometers. The first system offers high precision oxygen three isotope measurements of silicates and other minerals using a laser fluorination system. This is capable of measuring 17O excesses with a precision of ≈±10ppm on samples of ≈1mg. The second system is a compound specific isotope ratio mass spectrometer system – capable of performing ≈0.1‰ precision measurements of 13C/12C and 15N/14N on nanomole quantities of individual compounds within a complex mixture (as well as per mil precision measurements for D/H). This instrument is supported by a suite of chemistry labs for sample preparation and a range of GC and GC-MS systems for sample characterization and optimization of analytical conditions. For further information contact Professor Iain Gilmour