University of Wisconsin-Madison Physical Sciences Lab


Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

WiscSIMS, the Wisconsin Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer, is an instrument operated by the UW Madison Geology Dept. It is capable of analyzing sample spots of 10 microns to as small as 0.25 microns diameter, for isotopic composition, to precision of up to 100 parts per million. However, its targeting of samples is limited by its built-in optical microscope and color camera to a few microns resolution.

Noriko Kita, senior scientist, contacted PSL seeking ultraviolet illumination, to improve visible resolution. Available design data for the complex optical system (much of which is contained inside the vacuum system) was quite limited.

The manufacturer’s engineer had said it couldn’t be done. At PSL we’re doing it.

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