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Geochronology Advances in geochronological science
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2020-1
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2020-1
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 07 Feb 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal GChron.

The Isotopx NGX and the ATONA Faraday Amplifiers

Stephen E. Cox1, Sidney R. Hemming1,2, and Damian Tootell3 Stephen E. Cox et al.
  • 1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
  • 3Isotopx, Ltd., Dalton House, Dalton Way, Middlewich CW10 0HU, UK

Abstract. We installed the new Isotopx ATONA Faraday cup detector amplifiers on an Isotopx NGX mass spectrometer at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in early 2018. The ATONA is a capacitive transimpedance amplifier, which differs from the traditional resistive transimpedance amplifier used on most Faraday detectors for mass spectrometry. Instead of a high gain resistor, a capacitor is used to accumulate and measure charge. The advantages of this architecture are a very low noise floor, rapid response time, stable baselines, and very high dynamic range. We show baseline noise measurements and measurements of argon from air and cocktail gas standards to demonstrate the capabilities of these amplifiers. The ATONA exhibits a noise floor better than a traditional 1013 Ω amplifier in normal noble gas mass spectrometer usage, superior gain and baseline stability, and an unrivaled dynamic range that makes it practical to measure beams ranging in size from below 10−16 A to above 10−9 A using a single amplifier.

Stephen E. Cox et al.

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Stephen E. Cox et al.

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Latest update: 19 Feb 2020
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Short summary
We show results from a new type of ion detector technology for mass spectrometry that allows us to measure ion beams more precisely. This technology expands the range of ages we can measure using a single instrument, and makes it possible measure those ages – including all required corrections and adjustments – with more confidence. We show measurements of widely-used standard materials for Ar/Ar, including air and synthetic standard gas, to illustrate the capabilities of the new detectors.
We show results from a new type of ion detector technology for mass spectrometry that allows us...
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