Sample Loading

Procedure for sample loading

1. Preparation

  • Add new samples via our Webapp, Click the red Menu Option "User Login"
  • If you need holders, please use our simple Holder Request Form
  • Tools and materials
    • The weighing papers is VWR Scientific Products, CAT no. 12578-201
    • A4 paper
    • Removable Magic Tape
    • For 10Be, 26Al and 129I, Niobium powder is -325 mesh, Puratronic, 99.99%, from Alfa Aesar. Stock # 40510
    • Microtubestorage boxes 1.5 (Natural), catalog No.16-8240-06, from PGC SCIENTIFICS
    • 1.15MM*1-3/4 HSS DRILL Blank, Part Number 501304650 (Vermont Gage), from McMaster Carr
    • For 36Cl only, #47*2HSS Drill Blank, Part Number 501307850 (Vermont Gage)
    • Spatula
    • 2.0 ml. Shell Vial, PP & Plug Conv Pack, catalog # 12-W225125 from KSE Scientific.
    • Ultrasonic cleaning solution (UCS soap): 1% of Alconox
  • To prevent sample cross contamination use one set of loading tools for one sample
  • Load samples with low isotope abundances first if estimated abundances available
  • Since many materials are toxic take proper precautions such as wearing gloves, masks, working coat etc.

Table 1 Holders for 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl and 129I


Nuclide 10Be26Al36Cl129I

HolderStainless SteelStainless Steel Cu covered by AgBrPure Al


Table 2: Sample Material, binder, Mix ratio


Nuclide Material Material Weight mg Binder Mix ratio of Binder to Material (by wight)
10BeBeO 1 - 3 mg Nb 3.5
26Al Al2O3 1 - 3 mg Nb 3
36ClAgCl5 - 10mg  
129IAgI1 - 3mg Nb 3

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2. Loading

  • Prepare the loading area
    • Clean the loading desk by AccuWipe paper
    • Put a piece of A3 paper in the desk and fix it by removable tape
    • Put a piece of 6" X 6" weighing paper over it
  • Prepare the loading reocords document, including:
    • Holder number
    • PRIME Lab sample ID
    • Loaded sample material weight in mg
  • Loading
    • Refer to table 2, weigh the sample material, weigh the binder material
    • Mix the weighed materials uniformly using spatula
    • Pour the mixture into top of the holder
    • Pound in place with the drill blank
    • Add more mixture and pound. Repeat until full of center hole
    • Put the loaded holder into vial, with the laser marked side up, cover it with the lid
    • Write on the holder number on the outside of vial
    • Record the holder number, sample PRIMELab ID, sample name in your notebook
    • Put the holder in microtubestorage box in its proper position
    • Clean the loading area and prepare for the next loading
    • * Note: for 129I, to avoid water moisture,
      1. The holder should be preheated in the 110 oC oven for 20 mins.
      2. Start heating vials at 110o C in oven at the begining of loading
      3. Loaded holder should be kept in the preheated vial
    • * Note: for 36Cl, to reduce 36S,
      1. The holder should be preheated at 110 oC in oven for 20 mins.
      2. Start heating vials at 110o C in oven at the begining of loading
      3. Pound sample AgCl at center with 2mm blank drill
      4. Bake loaded holder at 110 oC in oven for 10 mins.
      5. Loaded holder should be kept in the preheated vial and covered with vial lid.
  • Enter the loading records to PRIME Lab sample management system
    • Login in the webpage under the sample related scientific investigator's account
    • Click the "loading records" page and enter the loading information

3. Clean all used tools

  • Put the used tools in HDPE bottle
  • Pour in ultrasonic cleaning solution (UCS soap) to cover the used tools
  • Put bottle into ultrasoic cleaner and run for one hour
  • When finished, rinse these tools with DIW till the soap is gone
  • Pour these tools out of bottle onto a large kimwipe, dry, and then rinse with alcohl, drying with the kimwipe
  • Using silicon carbide sandpaper to clear those corroded till corrosion-free, and sand both ends
  • Wash the tools in alcohol, dry with a kimwipe