Thermo Fisher launches new instruments for isotope analysis

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  • Published: Dec 21, 2015
  • Author: Jon Evans
  • Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Suppliers: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Channels: Gas Chromatography / HPLC / Infrared Spectroscopy / Base Peak

Scientists engaged in climate research, biochemistry, forensics and oil/gas exploration can now analyze the isotopic anatomy of molecules using a new high-resolution isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Thermo Fisher Scientific. This new instrument will allow scientists to access the direct conditions under which molecules were formed, transported, stored and degraded.

“For more than 60 years, Thermo Fisher has been the leading supplier of isotope ratio analytical instrumentation to scientists throughout the world,” said Andreas Hilkert, senior manager, product marketing inorganic mass spectrometry at Thermo Fisher. “Our products have enabled many pioneering discoveries with isotopic measurement for geochemical applications, including climate change research.”

The new Thermo Scientific 253 Ultra High Resolution Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (HR-IRMS) is designed to optimize the measurement of site-specific and clumped-isotope-ratio analysis of molecules. It will let scientists analyze new parameters such as the formation temperatures of molecules, the degradation processes of molecules, the biochemical processes of nitrous oxide, photochemical processes in the atmosphere and metabolic processes in biochemistry.

John Eiler, professor of geology and professor of geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been using the 253 Ultra HR-IRMS to explore the sources and geochemical histories of methane, ethane, propane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and chemical moities of large molecules, such as lignins. “The 253 Ultra HR-IRMS is a tool for exploring the isotopic anatomy of volatile molecules,” said Eiler. “Its analytical power, flexibility of configuration and great ranges in target mass and abundance make it an ideal platform for exploring this new world of molecular isotopic structures.”

Thermo Fisher unveiled the 253 Ultra HR-IRMS at the recent American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2015 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, where it also showcased several other novel instruments.

  • The new Thermo Scientific 253 Plus 10kV Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer is designed for high-performance isotope ratio mass spectrometry, with innovations in sample utilization, stability and background signal-to-noise, resulting in enhanced precision on even the smallest sample sizes. “The 253 Plus 10 kV IRMS collector is an important tool in our work with clumped isotope measurements,” said Stefano Bernasconi, professor at ETH Zürich in Switzerland, who studies climate change and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial and marine environments. “The pressure baseline is negligible and the online baseline monitoring allows for quality control and second order corrections if required.”
  • The new 1013ohm amplifier technology is designed to increase the speed, sensitivity and precision of isotope mass spectrometers. It features a new resistor design for fast response times, low noise/signal characteristics and improved internal precision for small signals. These enhancements are designed for a wide range of applications. These include age dating (zircon geochronology), analyses of dust in ice cores, inclusions in diamonds and extraterrestrial material components, and studies of isotopic variability on a small spatial scale, such as growth zones in minerals, teeth or hair.
  • The new Thermo Scientific Delta Ray Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer (IRIS) with URI Connect extends the continuous measurements of isotope ratios and concentrations of carbon dioxide in ambient air by delivering both 18O and 13C isotope ratios as well as concentrations of carbon dioxide in air from discrete samples such as head space analysis or direct injection of small amounts of carbon dioxide. Designed for field portability and operational simplicity, it enables scientists to collect data 24/7 in the field and measure short duration phenomena that may have been missed previously due to the low-frequency sample acquisition.
  • The new Thermo Scientific Delta Ray IRIS is a field-deployable instrument used by scientists for a range of research applications, including greenhouse gas monitoring, ecology and plant science, volcano monitoring, and carbon storage and sequestration.

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