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Elements Toolkit

Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry: A New Tool for Laser Ablation Analyses

By | October, 2016

I have worked in the field of mass spectrometry for some 30 years now, and I have long been interested in tracking those technical developments that might offer new options for the analytical geochemist. When laser ablation was selected as the topic for the October 2016 issue of Elements, I wanted to devote this Toolkit contribution to some emerging technology that might significantly advance mass spectrometry’s contribution to laser ablation analyses. After a bit of research, and having contacted some of the leading names in the field of laser ablation, I chose to highlight the time-of-flight (TOF) method as a new analytical strategy with promising new opportunities.

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Optical Profilometry

By | February, 2016

Understanding the fine-scale surface structure of a material can be key for many applications in the Earth sciences. For example, characterizing grain abrasion in a clastic sediment or describing the morphology of surfaces produced during a hydrothermal reaction experiment. A common approach to such imaging tasks is…

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The New Earth and Environmental Nanoscience and Technology Centers Sponsored by NSF

By , and | February, 2016

Nanoscience, and the technology that stems from it (that is, nanoscience and technology), constitutes one of the great revolutions that originated in the twentieth century. Development in this field is crucial because it is central to some of the most vital issues of the twenty-first century, including safe water, mineral and energy resource development, local/regional/global contaminant issues (including disease transmission), and global climate change.

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Archived Elements Toolkit (PDF)

2015 Issues -- Volume 11

February 2015

Michael Wiedenbeck

"MICADAS: New Instrumentation for Carbon-14 Dating"

October 2015

Kerstin Lehnert and Leslie Hsu

"The New Paradigm of Data Publication"


2014 Issues -- Volume 10

February 2014

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Fast Mapping with m-XRF"

October 2014

Marcus Christl, Rainer Wieler, and Robert C. Finkel

"Measuring One Atom in a Million Billion with Mass Spectrometry"


2013 Issues -- Volume 9

February 2013

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Field-Portable XRF: A Geochemist's Dream?"

October 2013

Micheel Wiedenbeck

"A New Facility for the GeoForschungZentrum"


2012 Issues -- Volume 8

April 2012

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Focused Ion Beam Technology: More Than a Sharp Knife"

August 2012

Michael Wiedenbeck

"X-Ray Tomography: Visualizing in Three Dimensions"


2011 Issues -- Volume 7

April 2011

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Seeing Single Atoms -- The Last Frontier"

August 2011

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Smashing up Stones"

2010 Issues -- Volume 6

October 2010

Michael Wiedenbeck

"Welcome to the Toolkit"

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