The Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer is used for high-precision isotope ratio measurements.
Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) is used for very precise isotope ratio measurements. Purified samples are thermally ionized by passing a current through a thin metal filament (or filaments). Mass resolved ion beams are directed into multiple collectors and converted into voltage. Ratios of the different voltages yield precise isotopic ratios.
The metal-free Picotrace laboratory was developed to provide optimal conditions for the separation and purification of isotopes in light of recent advances in both the sensitivity and analytical precision of mass spectrometers, and the development of new isotope systems that require special conditions.