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Doubling Sensitivity in Multicollector ICPMS Using High-Efficiency, Rapid Response Laser Ablation Technology

Craig, Grant, Managh, Amy J., Stremtan, Ciprian, Lloyd, Nicholas S., Horstwood, Matthew S. A.
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.19 pp. 11564-11571
atomic absorption spectrometry, isotopes, lead
The introduction of rapid response laser ablation cells and sample transport technologies to laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) has enabled signal pulse durations for a single laser ablation shot of less than 10 ms. These developments have resulted in marked improvements in analytical throughput, resolution, and sensitivity vital for the generation of large, highly spatially resolved elemental maps. The focus on mapping, particularly bioimaging, has obscured the possibility of applying the sensitivity advantage of rapid response technologies to other LA-ICPMS applications, such as high-precision isotope ratio analysis on multicollector (MC) ICPMS. In this work a commercially available rapid response sample transport system and a conventional configuration were compared for LA-MC-ICPMS analysis. Ablation of known reference materials demonstrated “sensitivity” or sample ion yield of 7–9% using the rapid response sample transport system, more than double that for the conventional setup. This increase in efficiency was demonstrated to improve precision for the Pb isotope ratio analysis of the MPI-DING reference glasses and improve the spatial resolution of Hf isotope ratio analysis of reference zircons.