Description: An apparatus and method for conducting ultra-sensitive trace element and isotope analysis. The apparatus injects a sample through a fine nozzle to form an atomic beam. A DC discharge is used to elevate select atoms to a metastable energy level. These atoms are then acted on by a laser oriented orthogonally to the beam path to reduce the traverse velocity and to decrease the divergence angle of the beam. The beam then enters a Zeeman slower where a counter-propagating laser beam acts to slow the atoms down. Then select atoms are captured in a magneto-optical trap where they undergo fluorescence. A portion of the scattered photons are imaged onto a photo-detector, and the results analyzed to detect the presence of single atoms of the specific trace elements.
Date: January 3, 2000
Creator: Lu, Zhengtian; Bailey, Kevin G.; Chen, Chun Yen; Li, Yimin; O'Connor, Thomas P. & Young, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department