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Behind the Scenes - Sintering SIMS Standards!

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!

Ph.D. Candidate Emilie Dunham is melting a mixture of oxide powders in a platinum crucible to make a new standard for SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) analysis of meteorites.   

DelTech gas mixing furnace at 1600CEmilie lowers the crucible into a DelTech gas mixing furnace, and raises the temperature to 1600 Celsius. Photo ⓒ ASU/CMS/Dunham.

FurnaceDroppedCrucibleAfter 2 hours, the crucible is forced to fall down the furnace into a container of water, which quenches the molten material into a glass. Photo ⓒ ASU/CMS/Dunham.

Quenched glass in crucible

Crucible containing quenched glass. Photo ⓒ ASU/CMS/Dunham.

Glass crystalsThe glass is removed from the crucible, ready to be used as a standard for meteorite analysis! Photo ⓒ ASU/CMS/Dunham.