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Issue 11, 2000
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Investigation of matrix effects for Pb isotope ratio measurements by multiple collector ICP-MS: verification and application of optimized analytical protocols

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Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated the potential of multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for precise Pb isotopic measurements using admixed Tl for "external normalization" of instrumental mass discrimination. The Micromass IsoProbe is a new, single-focusing MC-ICP-MS instrument that does not employ an electrostatic sector for energy-focusing. Instead, a hexapole collision cell is used to thermalize the ion beam. This study presents the first in-depth investigation of the application of the IsoProbe to Pb isotope ratio measurements. With a Tl-based mass bias correction, multiple analyses of mixed Pb–Tl standard solutions typically display reproducibilities (±2σ) of about 50 ppm for 207Pb∶206Pb, 100 ppm for 208Pb∶206Pb and 206Pb∶204Pb, 150 ppm for 207Pb∶204Pb and 175 ppm for 208Pb∶204Pb. Using an empirically optimized exponential law normalization, the Pb isotope data show excellent agreement with reference values obtained by thermal ionization mass spectrometry. The cross-calibration between NIST SRM 981 and 982 demonstrates that accurate results can be obtained with this technique over a wide range of Pb isotopic compositions. The Tl-corrected Pb data obtained on the IsoProbe, however, display correlations with the Pb∶Tl ratio of the analyzed solutions. The addition of large amounts of Tl to the samples is unfavorable for the accurate measurement of the low-intensity 204Pb ion beam. Analytical artifacts may also be generated if high concentrations of concomitant elements are present in the sample solutions. Matrix effects and instrumental memory, however, can be readily overcome by the adoption of appropriate analytical protocols and it is demonstrated that sample measurements can achieve the same levels of precision and accuracy as are routinely obtained for analyses of pure standard solutions.

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Jun 2000, accepted on 07 Sep 2000 and first published on 25 Oct 2000


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B005262K
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2000,15, 1451-1460
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    Investigation of matrix effects for Pb isotope ratio measurements by multiple collector ICP-MS: verification and application of optimized analytical protocols

    M. Rehkämper and K. Mezger, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2000, 15, 1451
    DOI: 10.1039/B005262K

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