New Mexico Geochronology Research Laboratory
Hardware — CO2 Laser
Note: The description below is out of date and will be revised soon.
The CO2 laser system used by the NMGRL consists of...
- Advantages of a CO2 laser system
- Inexpensive to purchase, operate and maintain
- excellent beam coupling to silicate minerals
- rapid sample heating relative to the resistance furnace
- very low argon background or blank levels relative to resistance furnace
- ideal for identifying sample heterogenities (e.g. non-desirable mineral phases, xenocrysts)
- capable of step-heating with special lenses
- Disadvantages of a CO2 laser system
- incapable of very small (<1 mm beam spot sizes, as is necessary for in-situ argon extraction (see UV laser)
- even with special lenses for step-heating, homogeneous heating difficult