Instrumentation [Ion Microprobe (SIMS)]

The IMS1280 is a state-of-the-art instrument which employs the technique of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). During SIMS, the primary ion beam (comprising Cs+ or O- ions) excavates and ionizes atoms and molecules within the sample. These secondary ions are extracted into a mass analyzer to determine their mass/charge ratios and relative abundances. This instrument permits the isotope ratio analysis of minerals at a spatial resolution of ~1 - 30 microns. It is fully equipped with multiple ion and Faraday detectors, allowing analysis of a wide range of light stable isotopes (18O/16O, 13C/12C, etc.) and U-Th-Pb isotopes.  The SEM is typically used to map internal chemo-structures within minerals prior to ion probe analysis, and to document exact locations afterwards.

See the Services tab for the range of mineral-isotope systems that are currently offered.