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  • Thermal ionization mass spectrometry for kids!

    Thermal ionization mass spectrometry for kids!

    My kids are of an age (12 and 13) where science is both simultaneously daunting and eye opening on a daily basis. The older one is just starting to learn about atoms and elements, giving me ample opportunity to regale her with information about the instruments I work with, whilst giving her ample opportunity to…

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  • The story behind ATONA – embracing the capacitor

    The story behind ATONA – embracing the capacitor

    I often get asked about the ATONA Faraday amplification system that we use at Isotopx. The questions are usually along the lines of “how did you come up with the idea?”, or “was it hard to develop?”, typically ending with “what’s next?”. In this blog I’ll address those questions – with the obvious limitation that…

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  • Nuclear decommissioning and isotope ratio mass spectrometry

    Nuclear decommissioning and isotope ratio mass spectrometry

    I recently attended the 14th International Symposium on Nuclear and Environmental Radiochemical Analysis (aka ERA14, link here). I found this a fascinating insight into the breadth of applications where radiochemical measurements can help science. I’d naturally assumed the meeting would include major focus on nuclear forensics, but the additional focus on medical applications, fuel reprocessing…

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  • TIMS or MC-ICP-MS – which do I need?

    TIMS or MC-ICP-MS – which do I need?

    So, you have a need for precise isotope ratio measurement of solids, most likely metals, but perhaps you’re early in your career and not yet an expert in the instrumental techniques. You’ve already found out that thermal ionization MS (TIMS) and multi-collector ICP-MS (MC-ICP-MS) are the likely techniques of choice, but which should you choose?…

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  • What’s the story behind Isotopx?

    What’s the story behind Isotopx?

    We at Isotopx are well aware that we’re not exactly a household name yet. But are you aware of the history behind the company? I’ve been lucky enough to work in isotope ratio mass spec for much of my career so have followed the Isotopx story; and in some cases I was there when it…

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  • ATONA Faraday amplifiers – how low can you go?

    ATONA Faraday amplifiers – how low can you go?

    If you work in isotope ratio mass spectrometry you probably already know about ATONA, the revolutionary Faraday detector technology. And if you don’t, you should! You can click here to read the basics. In brief, ATONA is a Faraday amplifier system that avoids many of the major disadvantages of traditional resistor-based amplifier systems, in particular…

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  • Choosing isotope ratio detectors – why use a Daly?

    Choosing isotope ratio detectors – why use a Daly?

    If you work in analytical science, and particularly if you’re in spectroscopy or spectrometry, you’ll be aware that there are a number of detector types used. For isotope ratio instruments, it’s common to have multiple detectors in an instrument, usually used to measure ion beam intensities simultaneously rather than sequentially. In our business, detectors are…

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  • Celebrating Space Spectrometers on National Space Day

    Celebrating Space Spectrometers on National Space Day

    National Space Day is celebrated annually in the US on the first Friday of May; this year Space Day will be celebrated on Friday the 6th of May. The celebration was created to promote STEM amongst young people1. However, it also offers an opportunity for the public to celebrate the extraordinary achievements and opportunities space…

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  • Celebrating World Laboratory Day at Techcomp

    Celebrating World Laboratory Day at Techcomp

    April 23rd marks World Laboratory Day, a day to celebrate laboratories across the globe where scientists conduct valuable research and make new discoveries to improve our everyday lives. Although the origins of World Laboratory Day are still unclear, it gives us a chance to reflect on the great achievements and breakthroughs in scientific research. At…

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  • Noble gas mass spectrometry – does size really matter?

    Noble gas mass spectrometry – does size really matter?

    A colleague recently asked me about noble gas mass spectrometers. He’d heard that the size is a critical factor, more so than with some other isotope ratio mass spectrometers. So, does size matter, and if so, why? If you have comments, thoughts, or corrections, do please feel free to contact me directly, I’d love to…

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