Quantification of trace element contents in frozen fluid inclusions by UV-fs-LA-ICP-MS analysis
We have developed a new analytical setup for the determination of trace element concentrations in fluid inclusions by UV-fs-LA-ICP-MS. Laser ablation was performed at a low temperature of −40 °C by using a modified heating–freezing stage as the ablation cell. With this method it was possible to successfully analyse 53 of 55 frozen synthetic NaCl–H2O fluid inclusions in quartz, covering a size range between 8 μm and 25 μm down to a depth of 50 μm. The high success rate could be achieved as the 194 nm UV-fs-laser allows excellent control over the opening procedure of frozen fluid inclusions. Trace element analyses were performed with a fast scanning magnetic sector field ICP-MS. The lower limits of detection for fluid inclusion analysis vary from 0.1 μg g−1 (for 209Bi) to 10 μg g−1 (for 39K). The typical analytical uncertainty, depending on the element and respective concentration level, ranges between 10% and 30% (1RSD), based on the reproducibility of experimentally synthesized fluid inclusions. All elements from a stock solution, which behaved inert during the HP/HT experiments (B, K, Cd, Te, Tl, Pb and Bi), could be recovered in the synthetic inclusions at concentrations that correspond within their specific analytical uncertainties to their original concentration of 53 μg g−1. The method represents a highly efficient tool for the determination of accurate trace element data on low concentration levels in small fluid inclusions with a high success rate of >90%. The latter is particularly advantageous considering the commonly time consuming characterization of fluid inclusions.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Geological applications of laser ablation