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The High Precision Isotope Ratio Consortium Course Notes

The High Precision Isotope Ration (HiPIR) Consortium was a loose affiliation of individuals interested in the development of analytical techniques for high precision isotope ratio measurements. The activities of this group culminated in 2007 when it organized a short course in Inorganic Ratio Mass Spectrometers. The materials generated for this short course are provided below.

Introduction to Inorganic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

This web site provides a basic introduction to inorganic isotope ratio mass spectrometry for both graduate students and professional scientists. The materials presented here represent an in-depth "nuts and bolts" introduction to high precision isotope ratio mass spectrometry as used in a wide range of disciplines. Topics covered include the design of such mass spectrometers and discussions of why they are designed that way; the physics, engineering and technology behind a modern isotope ratio mass spectrometer. While the emphasis is on thermal ionization magnetic sector machines, other types of mass spectrometers, ionization techniques and mass separation modes will also be presented. The advantages, disadvantages and idiosyncrasies of various isotope ratio mass spectrometer techniques will be discussed. The goal is to open up the “black box” of the mass spectrometer so that those who use such mass spectrometers (or those who use the data from them) can appreciate what makes them such powerful (and occasionally very cranky) analytical instruments.

The materials on these pages are provided courtesy of the instructors (Bill Olszweski, EAPS/MIT; Tony Appelhans, Idaho National Laboratory; Gary Hieftje, Indiana University) of a 5-day short course in Inorganic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry held at the U.S. Geological Survey, June 18-22, 2007. The course was organized by the High Precision Isotope Ratio (HiPiR) Consortium and was supported by the Earth Sciences Division, Instrumentation and Facilities Program at the National Science Foundation and by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Course materials presented include Powerpoint presentations of various topics relating to isotopic ratio mass spectrometers, and exercises relating to the use of the ion optics simulation software, SIMION. Of course, you will be able to make best use of the SIMION models available here by obtaining a copy of SIMION. Even without the SIMION software, however, there are companion Powerpoint presentations relating to ion optics that provide much useful information.

Each of the below links will take you to a separate page relating to specific topics in Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers. On these pages you will find descriptions of the topics covered and links for downloading Powerpoint presentations, SIMION models, and various text documents. Happy perusing!

Lecture Topics Laboratory (SIMION) Topics
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