Monday, 18 February 2019  


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The geochemistry group received shipment of the new Cameca NanoSIMS 50L ion probe last week. After a year of collaboration on instrument design and performance specifications, the order was placed with Cameca Instruments (France) in June 2004. Assembly and initial testing took 18 months, with a final round of factory tests completed in December 2005. Delivery was made last Monday, 16 January, and by Friday the instrument was already producing sputtered ions.

The NanoSIMS 50L is designed to achieve very high spatial resolution for an ion probe (down to 30-nm), a high efficiency collection of sputtered ions, and multiple ion detection (7 channels). The DTM instrument is also the first of its kind to be fitted with Faraday Cup detectors capable of high-precision isotope measurements. After on-site testing and training, the first priority for the instrument will be the analysis of dust particles collected from the coma of comet Wild 2 by NASA's Stardust mission .

Funding for the instrument was provided by the Carnegie Institution and NASA's Sample Return Laboratory Instrument and Data Analysis Program.

To view other pictures of the NanoSIMS, click here.