Operation and Demonstration of Positive Ion Mass Spectrometry.

Dr Richard Shanks1, Prof Stewart  Freeman1, Dr Cameron McIntyre1, Dr Mark Sundquist2, Mr Kenny  Kearney2, Mr Allan  O’Connor2, Mr Mike  Mores2, Mr Richard  Kitchen2, Mr Thilo Hauser2, Dr Matthieu Cavellier3, Mr Arun Annaluru3, Mr Vincent Bertrand3

1Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2National Electrostatic Corp., Madison, USA, 3Pantechnik S.A., Bayeux, France

Positive ion mass spectrometry (PIMS), was first demonstrated at the Scottish Universities Research Centre (SUERC) in 2014. In 2018 a prototype PIMS systems, co-developed with and manufactured by National Electrostatics Corp. (NEC) and Pantechnik, was installed at SUERC. Shortly after installation, the electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) ion source was upgraded to the Pantechnik Microgan capable of producing up to 1mA ¹²C+.

PIMS combines an ion source producing a positively charged carbon beam and a simple reaction cell to supress ¹⁴C interferences. The objective of the PIMS project is to measure ¹⁴C with comparable performance to conventional graphite AMS, directly from CO₂. PIMS allows direct integration and automation of sample processing interfaces, such as Elemental Analyser (EA), autosamplers, stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), etc., with performance competitive to conventional techniques that require sample graphitisation.

Operation and performance, such as background, memory, sample through-put, precision and accuracy of the PIMS system will be demonstrated and discussed.


AMS scientist and particle beam physicist in the AMS laboratory at the Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre (SUERC). Co-inventor of the PIMS technique and currently developing the prototype PIMS instrument at SUERC. Also responsible for 36Cl AMS analysis. Other interests are in high precision cosmogenic isotope analysis.

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Nov 16 2021


8:45 am - 9:45 am