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The R3D milling system is a fully-integrated extension to the RESOlution1 laser ablation instruments by Applied Spectra, and before that ASI and Resonetics. The unique design of R3D complements the standard RESOlution instrument, and minimises system cost by using common components wherever possible.

This product can be retrofitted to an existing RESOlution instrument, while remaining interchangeable with the LA–ICP–MS ablation cell, or the product can be supplied with a new RESOlution instrument.

The core of the R3D milling system is a 5-axis (XYZθxθz) stage for micro-milling trenches, cones, and wedges in mineral specimens. This milling action can also be referred to as psuedo-3D since the laser is not able to mill from below, or perpendicular to, the surface. Milled chips of material can be extracted manually, or automatically by an optional vacuum pipette.

Building on the industry-leading GeoStar software for LA–ICP–MS, the R3D software module provides effortless sample navigation and definition of 3D milling operations. Automated operation accommodates long milling sessions in excess of 72 hours. An optional gas-tight enclosure allows for ablation and milling within a controlled atmosphere.

Contact sales for more information or to arrange a quote.

Stage and Sample Holder

  • A 5-axis stage (XYZθxθz) for 3D micro-milling of solid samples by 193nm gas excimer UV laser:
    • XY Stage: 50 x 50µm, repeatability < 1µm
    • Tilt Stage: ±30°, repeatability < 0.0065°
    • Rotation Stage: 360° continuous, repeatability < 0.006°
    • Z Stage: +10mm, -2mm, repeatability < 1µm
  • Integrated software for effortless cut definitions, including transformations of rotation and tilt around arbitrary centres.
  • Software for automated operation to facilitate cutting of both large numbers of pieces and protracted cuts of large sections.
  • Software supports 2D milling of trenches and 3D milling of cones and wedges.
  • Designed for continuous operation in excess of 72 hours.
  • Sample holder for flat specimens, either one 25mm round mount (up to 2cm deep) or one petrographic thin section, 25 x 50mm.
  • Sample viewing by reflected light.
  • Laser ablation parameters:
    • Spot Size: 4µm – 100µm
    • Spot Shapes: Round and Square
    • Fluence: 0.5 – 20 J.cm-2
    • Rep-Rate: 0.01 – 300 Hz

Controlled Atmosphere Enclosure

  • A gas-tight enclosure for the the R3D stage and sample holder.
  • Made from transparent Perspex to allow for improved observation of the milling stage.
  • Features a UV-transparent window for sample viewing and transmission of UV laser light.
  • Large access door to facilitate sample exchanges.
  • Gas fittings are compatible with RESOlution instrument and can accept both helium from the on-board helium MFC and argon from the ICP–MS MFC.
  • Optional: additional MFCs for other gases can be supplied on request, or the customer can easily fit their own.

Sample Extraction System

  • Vacuum extraction system to remove milled chips via nylon pipette and transfer tube into sample vials.
  • Each chip deposited into a separate vial: capacity of basic system is 28 vials.
  • Selection of each vial is under computer control.
  • Pipette tip is held stationary and within a few mm of the ablation site. Once sample breaks free of the substrate it is drawn up into the pipette and deposited in the next available sample vial.
  • R3D stage movement is aware of pipette location and prohibits interference with tip.
  • Vacuum supplied by oil-free wobble pump as standard on RESOlution instrument.

[1]"RESOlution" is a trademark of Applied Spectra. It is only used here in a descriptive capacity.