Quantum Cascade Laser-Infrared Absorption Spectrometer for Clumped Methane Isotope Thermometry Instrument Initiative uri icon

DCO ID 11121/1794-4811-2113-5988-CC


  • A major DCO instrumentation objective is to measure ratios of methane molecules with doubly isotope-substituted rare isotopes (13 CH3 D vs.12 CH2 D2 ) that might provide information on methane formation temperature and may help resolve questions related to abiotic versus microbial origins—a DCO Decadal Goal. In addition to providing support for the Panorama High-Resolution Mass Spectrometer, the DCO encouraged a second science team, who proposed a radically different concept for clumped isotope measurements based on quantum adsorption spectroscopy. With highly leveraged start-up funds from the DCO, a high-risk, high-reward alternative instrument was developed by Shuhei Ono, MIT, at a low cost and with potential for mobilization and miniaturization for field applications.