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The new Cologne Noble Gas Laboratory – Extraction and Analysis of cosmogenic Ne Isotopes

We established a new laboratory for noble gas mass spectrometry that is dedicated to the development and application to cosmogenic nuclides at the University of Cologne. At the core of the laboratory are a state-of-the-art high-mass-resolution multicollector Helix MC Plus (Thermo Fisher Scientific) noble gas mass spectrometer and a novel custom-designed automated extraction line. The mass spectrometer is equipped with five combined Faraday multiplier collectors, with 1012 and 1013 Ω preamplifiers for faraday collectors. We installed and build up a new extraction line to conduct Ne isotope analysis, including laser extraction and cryogenic automated separation. Except for the laser, the extraction process is completely automated and allows a high standard of reproducibility, which prevents variations due to manual operation. Performance tests were conducted using gas of atmospheric isotopic composition (our primary standard gas), as well as CREU‑1 intercomparison material, containing a mixture of neon of atmospheric and cosmogenic composition. The precision in determining the abundance of cosmogenic 21Ne is equal to or better than those reported for other laboratories. The absolute value we obtain for the concentration of cosmogenic 21Ne in CREU is indistinguishable from the published value. We now regularly perform analysis of samples for cosmogenic neon for running projects and are open to new collaborations. For further information we refer to our publication Ritter et al. 2021 - Technical Note: Noble gas extraction procedure and performance of the Cologne Helix MC Plus multi-collector noble gas mass spectrometer for cosmogenic neon isotope analysis – Geochronology -


Benedikt Ritter1, Andreas Vogt1, Tibor J. Dunai1
1University of Cologne, Institute of Geology & Mineralogy, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022