Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences,
The University of British Columbia

Noble Gas MS

Laser-Equipped Noble Gas Mass Spectrometer
(Micromass VG 5400)

The noble gas mass spectrometer is a VG5400 from Micromass (now Isotopx), a well-proven instrument for analysis of all the noble gases. This instrument is routinely used for step-heating argon extraction, but is also capable of and calibrated for He analysis. Sample heating for step-heating argon extraction is accomplished using a 30W MR-10 infrared CO2 laser from New Wave Research/ESI. The laser and mass spectrometer are automated and can be operated remotely

argon line

The installation of the VG5400 at PCIGR was completed in the fall of 2001. Between 2003 and 2007, 890 step-heating dates on samples and standards were completed. From 2008 to 2017, around 2,100 step-heating and total fusion dates on samples and standards were completed, along with over 1,000 analyses of irradiation monitors, calibrations, and blanks. The samples are analyzed for researchers at UBC, Canadian and international universities and government geological institutions, exploration and mining companies, and independent consultants and scientists.

Closed sample chamber with loaded puck.