TITLE

Isotope-dilution ICP–MS for trace element determination and speciation: from a reference method to a routine method?

AUTHOR(S)
Heumann, Klaus G.
PUB. DATE
January 2004
SOURCE
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2004, Vol. 378 Issue 2, p318
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This critical review discusses the conditions under which inductively coupled plasma–isotope dilution mass spectrometry (ICP–IDMS) is suitable as a routine method for trace element and element-speciation analysis. It can, in general, be concluded that ICP–IDMS has high potential for routine analysis of trace elements if the accuracy of results is of predominant analytical importance. Hyphenated techniques with ICP–IDMS suffer both from lack of commercially available isotope-labeled spike compounds for species-specific isotope dilution and from the more complicated system set-up required for species-unspecific ICP–IDMS analysis. Coupling of gas or liquid chromatography with species-specific ICP–IDMS, however, enables validation of analytical methods involving species transformations which cannot easily be performed by other methods. The potential and limitations of ICP–IDMS are demonstrated by recently published results and by some unpublished investigations by our group. It has been shown that possible loss of silicon as volatile SiF4 during decomposition of a sample by use of hydrofluoric acid has no effect on trace silicon determination if the isotope-dilution step occurs during digestion in a closed system. For powder samples, laser ablation ICP–IDMS can be applied with an accuracy comparable with that only available from matrix-matched standardization, whereas the accuracy of electrothermal vaporization ICP–IDMS was strongly dependent on the element determined. The significance of easy synthesis of isotope-labeled spike compounds for species-specific ICP–IDMS is demonstrated for monomethylmercury and Cr(VI). Isotope-exchange reactions between different element species can prevent the successful application of ICP–IDMS, as is shown for iodinated hydrocarbons. It is also shown for monomethylmercury that species transformations during sample-pretreatment steps can be followed by species-specific ICP–IDMS without loss of accuracy. A relatively simple and time-efficient procedure for determination of monomethylmercury in environmental and biological samples is discussed. The method, which entails a rapid microwave-assisted isotope dilution step and in-situ extraction of the derivatized species, has good potential for routine application in the future.
ACCESSION #
15124872

 

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