We present a method for the chemical separation of Cr from meteorite and terrestrial samples for isotopic analysis by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). After sample digestion, separation of Cr(III) is achieved by means of a two-column cation-exchange chromatography procedure using AG 50W-x8 resin. In a first column, Cr(III) is isolated from major elements and the majority of trace elements. In a second column, trace amounts of Fe, Al and Ti are further removed. Total procedural yields are > 80%. Cr isotopes are measured by TIMS in the static multicollection mode. Mn/Cr ratios are obtained by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma source mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The accuracy of our protocol was tested by reference to terrestrial analogs and comparison of Cr isotopic data for samples that underwent Cr purification following the cation-exchange chromatography described here and an alternative separation method employing both a cationic and an anionic chromatography step. Using our technique, Mn/Cr ratios reproduce to <2% (2σ) and 53Cr/52Cr and 54Cr/52Cr to 6 ppm and 12 ppm, respectively (2σ). This highly precise procedure allows the variability of Cr isotopes in the inner solar system objects to be addressed. Our method enabled us to document an initial homogeneity for 50,52,53Cr isotopes within 10 ppm, while 20–70 ppm deficits in 54Cr abundances have been resolved for a number of meteorite samples.
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