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Issue 1, 2016
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Tandem ICP-mass spectrometry for Sr isotopic analysis without prior Rb/Sr separation

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Abstract

The use of a mixture of 10% of CH3F and 90% of He as a reaction gas in tandem ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS) enables the accurate determination of the 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio in geological materials, provided that mass discrimination is corrected for by using a combination of internal (Russell law, assuming a constant 88Sr/86Sr isotope ratio) and external correction (using the isotopic reference material NIST SRM 987 SrCO3) in a sample-standard bracketing approach. No prior Rb/Sr separation is required as the isobaric overlap at a mass-to-charge ratio of 87 is avoided by monitoring SrF+ reaction product ions instead of Sr+ ions. Rb shows no reactivity towards CH3F. The double mass selection (MS/MS mode) prevents both spectral overlap from atomic ions at the mass-to-charge ratios of SrF+ reaction product ions and a measurable effect from the matrix on the 87Sr/86Sr result. This aspect is critical, as it enables accurate results to be obtained without the need for using a matrix-matched standard to correct for mass discrimination, in contrast to previous work with a quadrupole ICP-MS instrument with a CH3F/Ne-pressurized cell, in which the use of a matrix-matched standard was compulsory. The precision attainable – 0.05% RSD external precision – suffices for making the newly developed method useful in a variety of applications.

Graphical abstract: Tandem ICP-mass spectrometry for Sr isotopic analysis without prior Rb/Sr separation

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Apr 2015, accepted on 16 Jun 2015 and first published on 23 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5JA00157A
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2016,31, 303-310
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    Tandem ICP-mass spectrometry for Sr isotopic analysis without prior Rb/Sr separation

    E. Bolea-Fernandez, L. Balcaen, M. Resano and F. Vanhaecke, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2016, 31, 303
    DOI: 10.1039/C5JA00157A

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