Detection Limit of Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry
Lee L. Yu, John D. Fassett, William F. Guthrie
The detection limit is an important figure of merit for evaluating instrumentation and analytical methods. While the detection limit for techniques using linear calibration functions has been studied extensively, this fundamental metric has rarely been discussed for mass spectrometry that bases the calibration on the principle of isotope dilution. We have developed a formulation for the detection limit for isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) after a thorough analysis of the uncertainty of IDMS measurements. The new formulation describes the IDMS detection limit as a function of the enrichment of the isotopic spike and the linear calibration detection limits measured at the masses for the isotope ratio measurement.