An international team from the University of Heidelberg and the Laboratoire d’études du rayonnement et de la matière en astrophysique et atmosphères of the Observatoire de Paris (Observatoire de Paris-PSL/IPSL/CNRS/Sorbonne Université/Université de Cergy-Pontoise) has developed the first laser instrument to measure the four most abundant species of CO2, composed of the isotopes 12C, 13C, 16O et 18O.


© I. Prokhorov

The instrument unambiguously measures all isotopologues of the 12C16O2 + 13C16O18O 13C16O2 + 12C16O18O exchange and can thus directly calculate the equilibrium constant and the corresponding temperature of this exchange. The analysis has become an exciting new tool for geochemical, atmospheric and paleoclimatic research, opening up new avenues in isotope research with applications ranging from stratospheric chemistry to carbonate-based geothermometry studies.


I. Prokhorov, T. Kluge, C. Janssen, Optical clumped isotope thermometry of carbon dioxide, Scientific Reports (2019) doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40750-z


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