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Ultrasensitive resonance ionization mass spectrometer for evaluating krypton contamination in xenon dark matter detectors

Iwata, Yoshihiro  ; Sekiya, Hiroyuki*; Ito, Chikara  

An ultrasensitive resonance ionization mass spectrometer that can be applied to evaluate krypton (Kr) contamination in xenon (Xe) dark matter detectors has been developed for measuring Kr at the parts-per-trillion (ppt) or sub-ppt level in Xe. The gas sample is introduced without any condensation into a time-of-flight mass spectrometer through a pulsed supersonic valve. Using a nanosecond pulsed laser at 212.6 nm, $$^{84}$$Kr atoms in the sample are resonantly ionized along with other Kr isotopes. $$^{84}$$Kr ions are then mass separated and detected by the mass spectrometer in order to measure the Kr impurity concentration. With our current setup, approximately 0.4 ppt of Kr impurities contained in pure argon (Ar) gas are detectable with a measurement time of 1,000 s. Although Kr detection sensitivity in Xe is expected to be approximately half of that in Ar, our spectrometer can evaluate Kr contamination in Xe to the sub-ppt level.

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Category:Instruments & Instrumentation

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