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A system is described that utilizes five separate Faraday-cup collector assemblies, aligned along the focal plane of a mass spectrometer, to collect simultaneous argon ion beams at masses 36-40. Each collector has its own electrometer amplifier and analog-to-digital measuring channel, the outputs of which are processed by a minicomputer that also controls the mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer utilizes a 90?? sector magnetic analyzer with a radius of 23 cm, in which some degree of z-direction focussing is provided for all the ion beams by the fringe field of the magnet. Simultaneous measurement of the ion beams helps to eliminate mass-spectrometer memory as a significant source of measurement error during an analysis. Isotope ratios stabilize between 7 and 9 s after sample admission into the spectrometer, and thereafter changes in the measured ratios are linear, typically to within ??0.02%. Thus the multi-collector arrangement permits very short extrapolation times for computation of initial ratios, and also provides the advantages of simultaneous measurement of the ion currents in that errors due to variations in ion beam intensity are minimized. A complete analysis takes less than 10 min, so that sample throughput can be greatly enhanced. In this instrument, the factor limiting analytical precision now lies in short-term apparent variations in the interchannel calibration factors. ?? 1981.
Additional Publication Details
A five-collector system for the simultaneous measurement of argon isotope ratios in a static mass spectrometer
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Physics