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Analyst. 2002 Jun;127(6):775-80.

High-precision Ru isotopic measurements by multi-collector ICP-MS.

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  • 1Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park 20740, USA.


Ruthenium isotopic data for a pure Aldrich ruthenium nitrate solution obtained using a Nu Plasma multi collector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) shows excellent agreement (better than 1 epsilon unit = 1 part in 10(4)) with data obtained by other techniques for the mass range between 96 and 101 amu. External precisions are at the 0.5-1.7 epsilon level (2sigma). Higher sensitivity for MC ICP-MS compared to negative thermal ionization mass spectrometry (N-TIMS) is offset by the uncertainties introduced by relatively large mass discrimination and instabilities in the plasma source-ion extraction region that affect the long-term reproducibility. Large mass bias correction in ICP mass spectrometry demands particular attention to be paid to the choice of normalizing isotopes. Because of its position in the mass spectrum and the large mass bias correction, obtaining precise and accurate abundance data for 104Ru by MC-ICP-MS remains difficult. Internal and external mass bias correction schemes in this mass range may show similar shortcomings if the isotope of interest does not lie within the mass range covered by the masses used for normalization. Analyses of meteorite samples show that if isobaric interferences from Mo are sufficiently large (Ru/Mo < 10(4)), uncertainties on the Mo interference correction propagate through the mass bias correction and yield inaccurate results for Ru isotopic compositions. Second-order linear corrections may be used to correct for these inaccuracies, but such results are generally less precise than N-TIMS data.

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