An apparatus for high-precision helium diffusion measurements from minerals

Kenneth A. Farley, Peter W. Reiners, Victor Nenow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


We describe a simple and low-cost apparatus for in-vacuum helium diffusion measurements that reduces temperature gradients, set point overshoot, and ramping times compared with conventional resistance furnace techniques. The sample, suspended by a thin wire in a vacuum chamber, is heated by radiation from an Al-coated projector bulb passed through a sapphire viewport. Because the total mass of the sample package being heated is small (typically <100 mg), thermal gradients and thermal inertia are both small. In experiments with set points between 100 and 750 °C, this apparatus can achieve set point from room temperature in ~90 s, usually with <3 °C of set point overshoot persisting for just a few seconds. Helium diffusion coefficient measurements indirectly indicate that temperatures are precise and reproducible to better than ±2 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2059-2061
Number of pages3
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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