Improved Method for Determination of Helium-4 in Helium-3 by Mass Spectrometry
Description:This Bureau of Mines report describes a method for determining parts per million (ppm) of helium-4 (He-4) in helium-3 (He-3) to an accuracy of ±5% by mass spectrometry. Gravimetrically prepared primary standards were used for the calibration of a Dempster 1800 magnetic sector mass spectrometer. A comparison between a 2.49% He-4 in hydrogen mixture and a 2.49% He-4 in He-3 mixture shows that He-3 can be replaced with hydrogen as a diluent for standards with comparable mass spectrometry sensitivities for He-4. Using hydrogen as a diluent allows analysis of He-3 samples for He-4 when He-3 for preparation of standards is not available and also conserves the rare He-3 isotope. Standards of He-4 in Hz were prepared for calibration of the mass spectrometer for quantitative determinations of He-4 in the 2-to 100-ppm range. A minimum detectable limit of 2 ppm He-4 is obtained by this method.
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