Laser spectroscopic measurement of helium isotope ratios
Article first published online: 13 JUN 2003
Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 30, Issue 11, June 2003
How to Cite
2003), Laser spectroscopic measurement of helium isotope ratios, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1592, doi:10.1029/2003GL017242, 11., , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 13 JUN 2003
- Article first published online: 13 JUN 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 MAY 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 30 APR 2003
- Manuscript Received: 3 MAR 2003
 A sensitive laser spectroscopic method has been applied to the quantitative determination of the isotope ratio of helium at the level of 3He/4He = 10−7 − 10−5. The resonant absorption of 1083 nm laser light by the metastable 3He atoms in a discharge cell was measured with the frequency modulation saturation spectroscopy technique while the abundance of 4He was measured by a direct absorption technique. The results on three different samples extracted from the atmosphere and commercial helium gas were in good agreement with values obtained with mass spectrometry. The achieved 3σ detection limit of 3He in helium is 4 × 10−9. This demonstration required a 200 μL STP sample of He. The sensitivity can be further improved, and the required sample size reduced, by several orders of magnitude with the addition of cavity enhanced spectroscopy.