The Sensitive High Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP) is the first ion microprobe dedicated to geological isotopic analyses, especially in-situ analyses related to the geochronology of zircon. Such a sophisticated ion probe, which can attain a high sensitivity at a high mass resolution, based on a double focusing high mass-resolution spectrometer, designed by Matsuda (1974), was constructed at the Australian National University. In 1996, such an instrument was installed at Hiroshima University and was the first SHRIMP to be installed in Japan. Since its installation, our focus has been on the in-situ U-Pb dating of the mineral apatite, as well as zircon, which is a more common U-bearing mineral. This provides the possibility for extending the use of in-situ U-Pb dating from determining the age of formation of volcanic, granitic, sedimentary and metamorphic minerals to the direct determination of the diagenetic age of fossils and/or the crystallization age of various meteorites, which can provide new insights into the thermal history on the Earth and/or the Solar System. In this paper, we review the methodology associated with in-situ apatite dating and our contribution to Earth and Planetary Science over the past 16 years.
2012 The Mass Spectrometry Society of Japan