The Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement
Laboratory (PRIME Lab) is a dedicated
research and user facility for accelerator
mass spectrometry (AMS), an ultra-sen-sitive analytical technique for measuring
long-lived radionuclides. Its mission is
to provide measurements of long-lived
radionuclides for researchers at Purdue
University, other universities, national
laboratories, and agencies providing
measurements of environmental levels
of long-lived radionuclides in the United
States and throughout the world.
Located below ground, adjacent to the Physics & Astronomy Building on
the West Lafayette campus, the PRIME Lab building contains 31,070 square
feet of floor space with 14 offices and 16 laboratories. Chemical preparation
laboratories ( 1,070 square feet) are located in the Chemistry building.
Equipment and resources include:
» FN tandem accelerator with three working high-energy beam-lines,
two for AMS applications and the third for proton or heavy ion
» Thermo iCAP 6300 ICP-OES, used to measure major and minor
elemental abundances in geologic samples;
» Applications of in-situ cosmic-ray produced 10 Be, 26 Al, and 36 Cl
to problems in landscape evolution and to glacial chronology;
» Applications of meteoric cosmogenic nuclides to problems in soil
development and chronology;
» Use of meteoric or bomb-pulse 36 Cl and 129 I for environmental
» Applications of 14C;
» Use of 41Ca as a tracer for processes pertaining to osteoporosis;
» Use of 26Al and 41Ca as tracers for biomedical processes;
» Access to chemical separation laboratories needed for all aspects
of chemical isolation of radionuclides measured by AMS for both
biomedical and geologic samples; and
» Access to a mineral separation laboratory.
For more information, visit www.physics.purdue.edu/primelab or
contact Marc W. Caffee, PRIME Lab director, at 494-5381 or mcaffee@
Above: Marc Caffee (right) discusses the operation of the accelerator with Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s new EVPRP, and Jeff Bolin,
associate vice president for research.
Upper right: Lengthwise view of the inside of the FN tandem accelerator.
Left: View of the broken charging chain removed from the high energy end of the