5 Reasons to love the extended family of multicollector instrumentation:
1. 1013 Ohm Amplifier Technology for ultimate signal/noise enabling high precision isotope ratio measurements of the smallest samples.
The extremely low noise characteristics enables you to obtain external precisions on isotope ratios approaching the limits of counting statistics for signal intensities from 3Mcps down to 30kcps. Why would you still consider running low sample sizes using single collector peak jumping analyses on an ion counter? For most applications where sample sizes are limited, you can easily switch to a Faraday-only approach, leaving behind the challenge of ion counter linearity effects and mass-dependent detection efficiency.
2. Retardation Potential Quadrupole (insiders call it “RPQ”) for improved abundance sensitivity enabling accurate detection of minor isotopes.
Why change a field-proven technology? The RPQ is one of the oldest members of the family and still energetic. It acts as a high selectivity filter for ions with disturbed energy or angle. In this way, tailing of an intense ion beam into neighboring masses is significantly reduced. This is important if you want to analyze very low abundant minor isotopes. Especially within nuclear safeguards, the RPQ is a good reason to love the XT family, as it allows accurate detection of the minor uranium isotopes 234U and 236U.
3. Multi Ion Counting for simultaneous detection of the lowest intensity ion beams
Multi Ion Counting is a specialty of the family and certainly not something for everybody. As it says, it is using multiple ion counters to simultaneously detect very low ion beams, typically between a few tens up to a few kcps. Only if the isotope system cannot be accurately and precisely measured on a Faraday cup arrangement, you will go for this special arrangement. Up to eight electron multipliers can be installed on the Neptune XT and Triton XT, with packages tailored for different applications. Ideally suited for U-Pb isotope ratio analysis in carbonates, zircons and other accessory minerals by laser ablation MC-ICP-MS, or low-level uranium and plutonium isotope analysis in nuclear safeguards.
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4. Jet Interface for ultimate sensitivity enabling analysis of smaller and smaller samples
One of the major strengths of the XT family is the Jet Interface option on the Neptune XT. In order to analyze smaller and smaller samples, either one tries to improve the detection capacity of the mass spectrometer or one tries to improve the efficiency of the ionization process. Inductively Coupled Plasma isn’t famous for its efficiency, but with the Jet Interface its reputation has substantially improved. With a high capacity interface pump, special cone geometries and a desolvating nebulizer, the MC-ICP-MS sensitivity has increased by up to a factor of 25. The Jet Interface is also ideally suited for laser ablation applications.
See application note AN30275 for high sensitivity laser ablation MC-ICP-MS analysis for more information.
5. Extra High Resolution (XHR) for ultimate mass resolving power enabling hydride interference removal
The XHR is the youngest sprout of the family and a powerful option for those who want to analyze isotope systems such as Si, Mg, Cl and K, where interferences of hydrides are the biggest challenge. A mass resolving power of 15,000 with > 1% transmission can be achieved by a narrowed entrance slit as well as a switchable intermediate aperture.
Are you interested in this family member? Read more in the technical note TN30464.
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