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Issue 11, 2003
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Rapid and accurate U/Th dating using parallel ion-counting multi-collector ICP-MS

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Using the parallel ion-counting capability of an appropriately configured multi-collector ICP-MS it is possible to simultaneously measure the activity ratios 230Th/234U and 234U/238U in a single solution. A method has been developed which fully internalises the measurement of elemental fractionation, instrument mass bias and ion counter gain, allowing on-line calculation of U/Th ages on a cycle-by-cycle basis during data acquisition. Because of the high efficiency of this technique very small sample sizes can be used, with permil-level precision possible on both 230Th/238U and 234U/238U from analyses of a few tens of nanograms of uranium. As U and Th fractions do not need to be collected and analysed separately sample throughput is very high, using a simple TRU-Spec ion exchange resin procedure. Repeat analyses of Harwell Uraninite, NIST SRM 960 and two carbonate age standards show excellent agreement with results from other laboratories.

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Article information

28 Jul 2003
05 Sep 2003
First published
09 Oct 2003

J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2003,18, 1346-1351
Article type

Rapid and accurate U/Th dating using parallel ion-counting multi-collector ICP-MS

J. Hellstrom, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2003, 18, 1346
DOI: 10.1039/B308781F

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