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4He/3He thermochronology lab

Prof. Dr. Peter van der Beek



Campus Golm
Building 27 / Room 1.31
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25
14476 Potsdam-Golm

Julien Amalberti, PhD

Lab management


Campus Golm
Building 27, Room 2.33
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25
14476 Potsdam

COOLER: Climatic controls on erosion rates and relief of mountain belts

The 4He/3He thermochronology lab is part of the ERC-funded COOLER project. For more information, please visit the project website.


PecubeGUI is a graphical user interface for Pecube - a thermo-kinematic model for the inversion of thermochronological data - developed at the University of Potsdam as part of the COOLER project.


The 4He/3He thermochronology laboratory at the University of Potsdam is a facility dedicated to the precise measurement of helium abundances within specific accessory minerals for high-resolution, ultra-low temperature 4He/3He thermochronology. As part of the ERC-funded COOLER project, the laboratory is the first of its kind in Europe with the aim of becoming a world-leading laboratory for 4He/3He thermochronology.

Our present 4He/3He facility includes:

  • A Helix SFT mass spectrometer for multi-collection of helium.
  • An ultra-high vacuum all metal Thermo extraction and purification prep-line which include Zr-Al SAES alloy getters.
  • A Fusions .970 Diode laser system for sample degassing.
  • A Janis 10K cold trap for separation of the He phase prior to inlet into the Helix SFT.

The system is designed to simultaneously measure low concentrations of 4He and 3He released from individual crystals during laser step heating. Prior to fusion and 4He/3He quantification, synthetic 3He is induced uniformly within each crystal by sample irradiation, which requires sample exposure to a high-energy, high-fluence (1015-1016 protons/cm2) proton beam for an extended period of time.

3He-4He Laborausstattung
Photo: Julien Amalberti, PhD

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