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Behind the scenes – Neptune mass spectrometer

Delve into current research at the Center with this periodic news feature, and catch a glimpse of what our students and scientists are working on right now!

Center Ph.D. candidate Daniel Dunlap has been performing isotopic analyses on the Thermo Neptune multicollector plasma mass spectrometer, which involves periodic routine maintenance and cleaning of components.

The mass spectrometer ionizes the sample by stripping off electrons and directing the ions, using electrostatic lenses in a high vacuum, to an electromagnet (or other type of mass analyzer). It then separates the ions by atomic weight and directs them to one or a series of detectors. Resulting signals are fed into a computer that calculates isotope ratios and analytical uncertainties.

Read more about Daniel's research here!

Extraction lens
Inside the Neptune! Daniel prepares to replace the graphite extraction lens. Photo ASU/CMS.