• Isotope Ratio Measurement Can Now go to the Sample Site

Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

Isotope Ratio Measurement Can Now go to the Sample Site

Dec 11 2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific have introduced the Thermo Scientific Delta Ray Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer.

The Delta Ray system is a new category of analyser for the continuous measurement of isotope ratio values from CO2 in ambient air. The ability to transport the system into the field can enable scientists to continuously collect data, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Scientists can measure short duration phenomena that may have previously been missed due to the low-frequency sample acquisition.

“A step forward in the surveillance of volcanoes is now possible,” said Andrea Rizzo, researcher studying Mt Etna for Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, (INGV), Sezione di Palermo, Italy.

INGV-Palermo performs geochemical monitoring of Mt Etna to evaluate volcanic activity with the goal of predicting eruptions.

INGV-Palermo evaluated a prototype Delta Ray system in July and again in September, 2013 at Mt Etna, from sea level to just under 9,900 ft up the mountain. CO2 isotope data was captured from the atmosphere, fumaroles and crater plume. The instrument stood up to the rigors of this harsh environment, and INGV-Palermo research group is now planning a long-term study in which the instrument will operate unattended on Mt Etna for a number of months.

The Delta Ray analyser uses laser-based mid-infrared spectroscopy to simultaneously measure carbon13 isotope and oxygen 18 isotope with a precision of better than 0.1 parts per thousand in minutes. The mid-infrared range produces absorption signals about 8,000 times stronger than the near-infrared for superior performance and reduced need to clean the mirrors. The system’s Universal Reference Interface is engineered to automate referencing and calibration for verifiable measurements and high-confidence results. The system is designed to measure large and small-scale changes in atmospheric CO2 at concentrations from 200 ppm to 100%

In addition to transportability, the instrument is designed to be robust and simple to operate. Thermo Scientific Qtegra software is easy to navigate and enhances usability.


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