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Powdered samples pose a special contamination threat, and special precautions must be taken to contain them. If the sample is highly magnetic, it is often advantageous to embed it in a low susceptibility epoxy matrix like Duco cement. This is usually done by mixing a small amount of diluted glue with the powder in a suitable container such as a gelatin capsule. Potting the sample in this way can keep the sample from shifting or aligning with the magnetic field. In the case of weaker magnetic samples, measure the mass of the glue after drying and making a background measurement. If the powdered sample is not potted, seal it into a container, and watch it carefully as it is cycled in the airlock chamber.

Pressure equalization

The sample space of the MPMS has a helium atmosphere maintained at low pressure of a few torr. An airlock chamber is provided to avoid contamination of the sample space with air when introducing samples into the sample space. By pushing the purge button, the airlock is cycled between vacuum and helium gas three times, then pumped down to its working pressure. During the cycling, it is possible for samples to be displaced in their holders, sealed capsules to explode, and sample holders to be deformed. Many of these problems can be avoided if the sample holder is properly ventilated. This requires placing holes in the sample holder, out of the measuring region that will allow any closed spaces to be opened to the interlock chamber.

Air-sensitive samples and liquid samples

When working with highly air-sensitive samples or liquid samples it is best to first seal the sample into a glass tube. NMR and EPR tubes make good sample holders since they are usually made of a high-quality, low-susceptibility glass or fused silica. When the sample has a high susceptibility, the tube with the sample can be placed onto a platform like those described earlier. When dealing with a low susceptibility sample, it is useful to rest the bottom of the sample tube on a length of the same type of glass tubing. By producing near mirror symmetry, this method gives a nearly constant background with position and provides an easy method for background measurement (i.e., measure the empty tube first, then measure with a sample). Be sure that the tube ends are well out of the measuring region.

When going to low temperatures, check to make sure that the sample tube will not break due to differential thermal expansion. Samples that will go above room temperature should be sealed with a reduced pressure in the tube and be checked by taking the sample to the maximum experimental temperature prior to loading it into the magnetometer. These checks are especially important when the sample may be corrosive, reactive, or valuable.

Oxygen contamination

This application note describes potential sources for oxygen contamination in the sample chamber and discusses its possible effects. Molecular oxygen, which undergoes an antiferromagnetic transition at about 43 K, is strongly paramagnetic above this temperature. The MPMS system can easily detect the presence of a small amount of condensed oxygen on the sample, which when in the sample chamber can interfere significantly with sensitive magnetic measurements. Oxygen contamination in the sample chamber is usually the result of leaks in the system due to faulty seals, improper operation of the airlock valve, outgassing from the sample, or cold samples being loaded.


  • J. Bland, Thesis M. Phys (Hons)., 'A Mossbauer spectroscopy and magnetometry study of magnetic multilayers and oxides.' Oliver Lodge Labs, Dept. Physics, University of Liverpool.
  • Quantum Design, Operating manual for the MPMS, 1999.
  • R. L. Fagaly, Review of Scientific Instruments , 2006, 77 , 101101.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply

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