The European Physical Journal D - Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 53–64

From direct to absolute mass measurements: A study of the accuracy of ISOLTRAP


  • A. Kellerbauer
    • CERN, Division EP, 1211 Genève 23, Switzerland
  • K. Blaum
    • GSI, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
  • G. Bollen
    • NSCL, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
  • F. Herfurth
    • CERN, Division EP, 1211 Genève 23, Switzerland
  • H.-J. Kluge
    • GSI, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
  • M. Kuckein
    • Inst. f. Physik, Technische Universität München, 85748 Garching, Germany
  • E. Sauvan
    • CERN, Division EP, 1211 Genève 23, Switzerland
  • C. Scheidenberger
    • GSI, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
  • L. Schweikhard
    • Inst. f. Physik, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, 17487 Greifswald, Germany

DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2002-00222-0

Cite this article as:
Kellerbauer, A., Blaum, K., Bollen, G. et al. Eur. Phys. J. D (2003) 22: 53. doi:10.1140/epjd/e2002-00222-0


For a detailed study of the accuracy of the Penning trap mass spectrometer ISOLTRAP all expected sources of uncertainty were investigated with respect to their contributions to the uncertainty of the final result. In the course of these investigations, cross-reference measurements with singly charged carbon clusters 12C+n were carried out. The carbon cluster ions were produced by use of laser-induced desorption, fragmentation, and ionization of C60 fullerenes and injected into and stored in the Penning trap system. The comparison of the cyclotron frequencies of different carbon clusters has provided detailed insight into the residual systematic uncertainty of ISOLTRAP and yielded a value of 8×10-9. This also represents the current limit of mass accuracy of the apparatus. Since the unified atomic mass unit is defined as 1/12 of the mass of the 12C atom, it will be possible to carry out absolute mass measurements with ISOLTRAP in the future.

PACS. 07.75.+h Mass spectrometers – 21.10.Dr Binding energies and masses – 32.10.Bi Atomic masses, mass spectra, abundances, and isotopes – 36.40.Wa Charged clusters

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© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Società Italiana di Fisica 2003