Measurement of isotope ratios on transient signals by MC-ICP–MS

Günther-Leopold, Ines; Wernli, Beat; Kopajtic, Zlatko; Günther, Detlef
January 2004
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2004, Vol. 378 Issue 2, p241
Academic Journal
Precise and accurate isotope ratio measurements are an important task in many applications such as isotope-dilution mass spectrometry, bioavailability studies, or the determination of isotope variations in geological or nuclear samples. The technique of MC-ICP–MS has attracted much attention because it permits the precise measurement of isotope compositions for a wide range of elements combined with excellent detection limits due to high ionisation efficiencies. However, the results are based mainly on measurements using continuous sample introduction. In the present study the determination of isotope ratios on various transient signals with a time duration of 30 to 60 s has been achieved by coupling high-performance liquid chromatography to a multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. In order to investigate the origin of ratio drifts across the transient signals for this hyphenated technique, measurements with the same standard solutions were also carried out using a flow-injection device for sample introduction. As a result of this application it could be concluded that the main source of the bias in the measured isotope ratios is within the ICP–MS instead of fractionation effects on the chromatographic column material. Preliminary studies on short transient signals of gaseous samples (dry plasma) showed a reverse fractionation effect compared with wet plasma conditions (flow injection and HPLC).


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