In recent years particular effort is being devoted to the development of pulsed glow discharges (PGDs) for mass spectrometry because this powering operation mode could offer important ionization analytical advantages. However, the capabilities of radiofrequency (RF) PGD coupled to time of flight mass spectrometry (ToFMS) for accurate isotope ratio measurements have not been demonstrated yet. This work is focused on investigating different time positions along the pulse profile for the accurate measurement of isotope ratios. As a result, a method has been developed for the direct and simultaneous multielement determination of trace elements in powdered geological samples by RF-PGD-ToFMS in combination with isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) as an absolute measurement method directly traceable to the International System of Units. To homogeneously distribute the added isotopically-enriched standards, lithium borate fusion of powdered solid samples was used as sample preparation approach. In this way, Cu, Zn, Ba and Pb were successfully determined by RF-PGD-ToF(IDMS) in two NIST Standard Reference Materials (SRM 2586 and SRM 2780) representing two different matrices of geological interest (soil and rock samples). Cu, Zn, Ba and Pb determinations provided a good agreement with the values assigned by NIST and precisions below 12% relative standard deviation were observed for three independent analyses, demonstrating the potential of RF-PGD-ToF(IDMS) for a sensitive, accurate and robust analysis of powdered samples.
Pub Type: Journals
Pulsed radiofrequency glow discharge, Time of flight mass spectrometry, Isotope dilution mass spectrometry, Geological reference materials