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Towards an Australian Atom-Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) facility
Author(s): P. S. Light; R. D. Glover; M. A. Dakka; G. Tsiminis; A. J. Palmer; D. Chetty; I. Litvinyuk; R. T. Sang; A. N. Luiten
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Paper Abstract

Atom-Trap Trace-Analysis (ATTA) is a technique aimed at a measuring the relative (in comparison to the common isotope) abundance of exceedingly rare noble gas radio-isotopes (Ar-39, Kr-81 and Kr-85), for the purposes of dating water, ice and other materials that contain trapped gases. These isotopes exist with an extremely low natural abundance and require measurement capability down to parts in 1017. The noble gas dating protocol is similar to that of radio-carbon dating but, the three isotopes together, allow dating of materials in complementary ranges to that possible with the radiocarbon technique. In a facility jointly created by CSIRO, Griffith and Adelaide Universities, we use laser guidance, cooling and trapping to perform isotopic separation using the isotopic dependence of atomic energy levels. The facility is currently undergoing construction but has been shown to be able to produce metastable Ne and Ar, which can then be laser cooled and trapped. When combined with the existing gas separation facility at the CSIRO Waite facility, which efficiently extracts pure noble gases from that are dissolved in water or ice samples, we should be in a position to start measuring the age of real-world samples in the early part of 2020. In addition, to describing the current state of construction, we will also discuss two more efficient approaches for creating metastable atoms that can reduce samples size and avoid unwanted cross-contamination between samples.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 2019
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 11200, AOS Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology (ACOFT) and Australian Conference on Optics, Lasers, and Spectroscopy (ACOLS) 2019, 112000F (30 December 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2541232
Show Author Affiliations
P. S. Light, The Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
R. D. Glover, The Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
M. A. Dakka, The Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
G. Tsiminis, The Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
A. J. Palmer, Griffith Univ. (Australia)
D. Chetty, Griffith Univ. (Australia)
I. Litvinyuk, Griffith Univ. (Australia)
R. T. Sang, Griffith Univ. (Australia)
A. N. Luiten, The Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11200:
AOS Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology (ACOFT) and Australian Conference on Optics, Lasers, and Spectroscopy (ACOLS) 2019
Arnan Mitchell; Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Editor(s)

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