Prof Ian Lyon

Emeritus Professor

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Application of high spatial resolution isotopic analysis techniques to various areas of planetary science and astrophysics including:

  • The nucleosynthetic prehistory of the solar system preserved in presolar grains.
  • Galactic chemical evolution that can be studied in interstellar grains
  • The chronology of solar system formation.
  • The history of water and other fluids in forming secondary minerals in Martian meteorites.
  • The development of new analytical techniques
  • Application of isotopic measurement techniques to terrestrial geochemical areas such as the genesis of platinum group minerals and authigenic quartz overgrowths

My research career has always focused upon the development of new analytical instruments and techniques. This started with building a new apparatus for measuring photoionization cross sections of positive atomic ions using synchrotron radiation at the Daresbury laboratory, progressed to the early design and development of the RELAX mass spectrometer at Sheffield and Manchester and taming the Isolab 54 ion probe to obtain high quality measurements of oxygen isotope ratios in meteorites, Martian meteorites and terrestrial samples. With some close colleagues I built two TOF-SIMS instruments with laser post-ionization to study interstellar grains and other extraterrestrial and terrestrial samples with high spatial resolution and high sensitivity for the whole periodic table.  We have also developed organic and biological molecule analysis by using C60 ion impact to analyse samples with high spatial resolution.



BSc 1979 Astronomy and Astrophysics; PhD 1983 Atomic Collision Physics; F. Inst. P. ; F.R.A.S.

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