System 2 features an MAP 215-50 mass spectrometer, which is similar to the MAP 215C on System 1 in most respects except that it uses an electrostatic filter in conjunction with the electron multiplier detector.The extraction line is analogous in all respects to that of System 1 except that it uses a Nd-YAG laser, which can be used in either continuous or pulsed mode.Twin sample chambers allow bake-out of one while the other is engaged in analysis.
Sample irradiation is presently performed at the Geesthacht Neutron Facility (Ge NF) at the GKSS research centre.
Due to the smaller fast neutron flux of 1x10Ar atoms. mineral or groundmass separates) or polished thick section samples are wrapped in Al foil and subsequently loaded into a sample-container made of 99.999% pure Al (see photo below).
Finally, the sample container is wrapped in Cd foil and irradiated.
Following irradiation, samples are left to cool down at Ge NF.
The Ar technique can be applied to any rocks and minerals that contain K (e.g. method is also used to date a myriad of other geological events such as volcanism, tectonic plate movements, mountain building rates, sediment formation, weathering and erosion, hydrothermal fluid movements, and alteration and diagenesis of minerals. The main advantage of Ar-Ar dating is that it allows much smaller samples to be dated, and more age and composition (e.g.
Ca/K) information can be obtained from each sample.
Their first advantage is a better sensitivity of the new generation of CDD electron multipliers and 10^12-ohm resistor faraday collectors.
This allows the measurement of a larger dynamic range of Ar ion beam signal on much smaller (and thus likely purer) and younger sample aliquots.
System 2 also features a fully automated, double vacuum, electrical resistance furnace for heating samples up to 1650 °C.
The furnace uses infrared radiation from the crucible, calibrated against either optical pyrometry or thermocouple measurements, to provide feedback to the power supply.
The WAAIF is equipped with A MAP215-50 mass spectrometer with a low-blank automated extraction system coupled with a New Wave Nd-YAG dual IR (1064 nm) and UV (216 nm) laser, an electromuliplier detector and Niers source.