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Instrumentation and Services


The Facility is equipped with a Cameca IMS 3f and a Cameca IMS 1280 ion microprobes. The Cameca IMS 3f instrument (#1) was delivered to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Autumn, 1978. Since then it has been operated as part of a National Facility for Geochemical Analysis - initially at MIT as the MIT-Harvard-Brown Regional Ion Microprobe Facility and then, since 1991, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where it now comprises part of NENIMF.

The Cameca IMS 1280 ion microprobe was delivered to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in January 2005 and is the repaired original Cameca IMS 1270 instrument (#304). It now forms the newest component of NENIMF.

The Facility also has the necessary support equipment:

  • Sample preparation including impregnation, cutting, grinding and polishing equipment.
  • Gold and Carbon sputter coaters and a Carbon evaporation coater.
  • Reflected and transmitted light microscopes with photographic facilities for specimen documentation.
  • Off-line data translation and processing computers.

Analytical Service

Our experience over the past years has shown that visits to the facility by many university faculty members are, in many cases, difficult to arrange due to schedule conflicts. In an effort to provide flexibility for them, and to make facility access easier to a broader spectrum of the community, we will offer analytical services, where the user mails in samples and the NENIMF personnel perform the measurements. These services will be restricted to government-sponsored research projects, and will be limited to routinely available analytical platforms:

  • U, Th-Pb dating of zircon
  • Ti-in-zircon thermometry (Ti concentration in zircon)
  • Ti-in-quartz thermometry (Ti concentration in quartz)
  • Pb isotopes in glasses and K-feldspars
  • Boron and sulfur isotopes, and abundances of volatile components (H2O, CO2, F, S, Cl) in glasses
  • Concentrations of rare earth elements (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Dy, Er, Yb) and trace elements (Ti, Cr, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Ba) in silicate glasses and minerals
  • Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, B/Ca in carbonates

The rate of these services is based on the regular rate for the 1280 of $150/hour plus charges for sample/data handling. Although we may occasionally analyze samples for users on weekends, samples run on weekends by NENIMF personnel are not eligible for discounted rates. Contact the facility management for this service.