Facility Support: The Arizona State University SIMS Laboratories

Project: Research project

Description

PROJECT SUMMARY Overview: Page A We request renewed support from the National Science Foundation for the Arizona State University SIMS facility. During the current funding cycle (June, 2010 through May 2014) we have helped a diverse group of visitors obtain high-quality data. We want to continue this support, and add functionality through efforts to simplify analytical protocols, test novel approaches to analysis, and bring them to production. Training operators (at many skill levels) will continue to be an important aspect of our approach to facility management as well as teaching them about the sputtering process itself. The facility contains two Cameca instruments (IMS 6f and the NanoSIMS). The IMS 6f is a small-frame instrument with excellent specifications for sample chamber vacuum (enabling H, C and O analyses), transmission, mass resolution and lateral resolution. The NanoSIMS has not been part of the facility, but the ability for extremely high lateral resolution with high secondary ion transmission at high mass resolving power makes it a very good fit for a wide-range of NSF EAR-supported research activities, and we propose to add it to the facility. ASU has long been a leader in SIMS research and development and is known for cross-disciplinary collaborations; renewing this national facility allows us to continue to share our expertise with the broader Earth Science community. Intellectual Merit : The facility has mostly been used for light element geochemistry: analysis of H in nominally anhydrous minerals, Li and B concentration and isotope measurements, hydrogen (and its isotopes) and carbon in silicate glasses, and F contents of minerals and volcanic glass. However, some users have successfully obtained analyses for heavier elements in trace abundance, such as Rb to Nb, REE, Hf, Th, and U. Point analysis (referred to as ?bulk? analysis by some) and depth-profiling studies have been emphasized. Because of our new alignment technique for the electron gun, we are emphasizing higher-precision analyses of H isotopes, and microanalyses (at the sub-ppm level) of ore-related elements Cu, As, Sb, Te, and Au. In adding the NanoSIMS to our facility, we will become the first open facility offering access to NanoSIMS for the analyses of terrestrial (and extraterrestrial) materials. This will allow technique development and novel applications of NanoSIMS to previously under-explored applications in the Earth Sciences, such as characterizing zoning in trace elements and isotopic concentrations to at the sub-micron scale to elucidate the timing of geologic events. In both labs, new techniques will be developed based on our interaction with visitors with the goals of providing the chemical data needed to advance their science. Our instrument development will focus on improving performance of the primary ion sources to allow high spatial resolution with high primary current. Broader Impacts : The SIMS technique is exceptionally complex, both instrumentally and conceptually, so that few analyses are routine, and a synergistic interaction between users and experts is essential to conceive of (and design) experiments that make the best use of the technique. The interactions experienced with diverse users results in very exciting experiments to develop novel instrumental or analytical innovations. Our annual workshop brings ~15 visitors (dominantly students) for an intense, 3-day immersion in the instrumentation and the interaction of ions and matter. We propose to synthesize, characterize, and share relevant chemical and isotopic standard materials with other SIMS laboratories.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/153/31/19

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $1,161,577.00

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isotope
Earth science
ion
volcanic glass
mineral
data quality
research and development
teaching
zoning
instrumentation
rare earth element
spatial resolution
innovation
student
silicate
experiment
glass
geochemistry
trace element
hydrogen