TA2 Facility 22 – Open University Laser Fluorination Oxygen Isotope Facility
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TA2 Facility 22 – Open University Laser Fluorination Oxygen Isotope Facility

Average visit: 5 days

This is the pioneering facility for laser assisted fluorination for high precision oxygen 3-isotope (16O, 17O, 18O) ratio measurements.

The system is equipped with a powerful and highly controllable 50W CO2 laser (10.6 μm radiation) used to heat small samples of meteorites or other planetary materials in the presence of high purity BrF5 in order to liberate oxygen gas for isotopic measurement in a Thermo MAT 253 mass spectrometer.

Sample size requirement for the highest precision is 0.5 to 2μg of silicate – providing typical precision for individual analyses of at least ±0.08‰ for δ17O, ±0.16‰ for δ18O, and ±0.05‰ for Δ17O (2σ). Smaller samples, down to ~ 30μg can be analysed, albeit with slightly lower precision.

Samples of most silicates and oxides can be measured, with specialist protocols available for volatile-rich samples (e.g. phyllosilicates).


Ian Franchi, School of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. ian.franchi@open.ac.uk
Main facility website

Report summaries of TA visits to facility

TA 2.22: Laser assisted fluorination system at the OU
20-EPN2-009: High-precision oxygen isotope composition of Martian meteorites and their components...

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