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Potassium can be mobilized into or out of a rock or mineral through alteration processes.
Due to the relatively heavy atomic weight of potassium, insignificant fractionation of the different potassium isotopes occurs.
The extraction line is analogous in all respects to that of System 1 except that it uses a Nd-YAG laser, which can be used in either continuous or pulsed mode.
System 2 also features a fully automated, double vacuum, electrical resistance furnace for heating samples up to 1650 °C.
Samples are loaded into a UHV chamber mounted on an automated translating x-y stage and degassed with a 6 W Coherent Inova 90 continuous argon-ion laser.
The isotopes the KAr system relies on are Potassium (K) and Argon (Ar).
Potassium, an alkali metal, the Earth's eighth most abundant element is common in many rocks and rock-forming minerals.
Other features (e.g., video monitoring, automated stage translation, automated air-pipette) are analogous to those on Systems 1 and 2.
Sample temperature during laser heating can be measured via a Mikron two-color infrared pyrometer system.