Stable Isotope Laboratory
The stable isotope laboratory includes a 10 µm (CO2) infrared laser for sample heating, a ThermoFinnigan Deltaplus gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometer, a ThermoFinnigan MAT 253 gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometer, and an F2 vacuum extraction line for O2 analysis of silicates, oxides, and sulfates. Our infrared laser fluorination system provides for a precision of 0.005‰ in Δ17O. Pictured here is Dr. Issaku Kohl using the laser-assisted fluorination system to measure meteorite samples. In addition to the fluorination line, several general-purpose gas handling vacuum lines are used as support for the facility. We also have a GasBench auto sampler for rapid analysis of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios in carbonate minerals, and a water line in the works. The 253 instrument has Faraday collectors setup for analysis of rare isotopologues of O2 and CO2. Our laboratory also houses the Panorama, the world’s largest gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometer that can be used for rare isotopic species on a variety of gases.
We use the stable isotope laboratory for fluorination of silicates, oxides, and sulfates for oxygen isotopic analysis. We also use this facility for analysis of atmospheric gases (e.g., N2 isotope clumping and and O2 isotope clumping). Our work on the oxygen isotopic composition of the Moon ( Young et al., 2016, Science) represents state-of-the-art precision for Δ17O. We continue to explore the applications of this level of precision.