The Nevada Isotope Geochronology Laboratory houses a NGX-600 rare gas mass spectrometer equipped with ATONA amplifiers. The NGX contains a 9x faraday cup setup with an ion counting electron multiplier that allows for the measurement of 36Ar on either the faraday cup with ATONA amplifiers or multiplier depending on initial concentrations. This mass spectrometer is connected to a high vacuum extraction line with automated pneumatic valves, and a quadrapole mass spectrometer for monitoring gas species prior to admission to the rare gas mass spectrometer. The NGX, its extraction line, and auxiliary equipment are computer automated using a custom ArArSuite of software as well as IsotopX’s Instrument Control and IsolinX software. Sample extraction is performed through either a temperature controlled double vacuum resistance furnace capable of heating samples to 1600 °C ± 1-2 °C with a motorized sample dropper capable of running up to 16 sequential samples. Alternatively, samples can be analyzed through a low-blank laser chamber and incrementally heated using a Synrad Firestar 30W CO2 laser. We have been fully operational and routinely performing 40Ar/39Ar analyses since July of 1999. The images below outline construction of the lab.
We have been fully operational and routinely performing 40Ar/39Ar analyses since July of 1999. The images below outline construction of the lab.