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High-precision measurements of krypton and xenon isotopes with a new static-mode quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer

Avice, G. and Belousov, A. and Farley, K. A. and Madzunkov, S. M. and Simcic, J. and Nikolić, D. and Darrach, M. R. and Sotin, C. (2019) High-precision measurements of krypton and xenon isotopes with a new static-mode quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 34 (1). pp. 104-117. ISSN 0267-9477. doi:10.1039/c8ja00218e.

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Measuring the abundance and isotopic composition of noble gases in planetary atmospheres can answer fundamental questions in cosmochemistry and comparative planetology. However, noble gases are rare elements, a feature making their measurement challenging even on Earth. Furthermore, in space applications, power consumption, volume and mass constraints on spacecraft instrument accommodations require the development of compact innovative instruments able to meet the engineering requirements of the mission while still meeting the science requirements. Here we demonstrate the ability of the quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer (QITMS) developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech, Pasadena) to measure low quantities of heavy noble gases (Kr, Xe) in static operating mode and in the absence of a buffer gas such as helium. The sensitivity reaches 10^(13) cps Torr^(−1) (about 10^(11) cps Pa^(−1)) of gas (Kr or Xe). The instrument is able to measure gas in static mode for extended periods of time (up to 48 h) enabling the acquisition of thousands of isotope ratios per measurement. Errors on isotope ratios follow predictions of the counting statistics and the instrument provides reproducible results over several days of measurements. For example, 1.7 × 10^(−10) Torr (2.3 × 10^(−8) Pa) of Kr measured continuously for 7 hours yielded a 0.6‰ precision on the ^(86)Kr/^(84)Kr ratio. Measurements of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples reproduce values from the literature. A compact instrument based upon the QITMS design would have a sensitivity high enough to reach the precision on isotope ratios (e.g. better than 1% for ^(129,131–136)Xe/^(130)Xe ratios) necessary for a scientific payload measuring noble gases collected in the Venus atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Avice, G.0000-0003-0962-0049
Farley, K. A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Simcic, J.0000-0001-9806-8123
Sotin, C.0000-0003-3947-1072
Additional Information:© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. The article was received on 27 Jun 2018, accepted on 23 Oct 2018 and first published on 23 Oct 2018. Laurent Rémusat is acknowledged for his advices for acquiring Allende samples originally prepared by S. Epstein and Mark B. Garcia for his handling of the GPS collection at Caltech. Jonathan Treffkorn is thanked for help during the preparation of the experiments conducted at Caltech. We thank Dr Smith for her editorial handling of the manuscript and two reviewers for helpful comments. This work has been performed at the California Institute of Technology and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), under contract to NASA. There are no conflicts to declare.
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181101-101938362
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90557
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Nov 2018 17:34
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:33

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