Comparison of Time-of-flight and Multicollector ICP Mass Spectrometers for Measuring Actinides in Small Samples using single shot Laser Ablations

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The objective of these experiments is to evaluate the performance of two types of ICP-MS device for measurement of actinide isotopes by laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS. The key advantage of ICP-MS compared to monitoring of radioactive decay is that the element need not decay during the measurement time. Hence ICP-MS is much faster for long-lived radionuclides. The LA process yields a transient signal. When spatially resolved analysis is required for small samples, the laser ablation sample pulse lasts only {approx}10 seconds. It is difficult to measure signals at several isotopes with analyzers that are scanned for such a short sample ... continued below

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Houk, R.S.; Aeschliman, D.B.; Bajic, S.J. & Baldwin, D. November 1, 2005.

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The objective of these experiments is to evaluate the performance of two types of ICP-MS device for measurement of actinide isotopes by laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS. The key advantage of ICP-MS compared to monitoring of radioactive decay is that the element need not decay during the measurement time. Hence ICP-MS is much faster for long-lived radionuclides. The LA process yields a transient signal. When spatially resolved analysis is required for small samples, the laser ablation sample pulse lasts only {approx}10 seconds. It is difficult to measure signals at several isotopes with analyzers that are scanned for such a short sample transient. In this work, a time-of-flight (TOF) ICP-MS device, the GBC Optimass 8000 (Figure 1) is one instrument used. Strictly speaking, ions at different m/z values are not measured simultaneously in TOF. However, they are measured in very rapid sequence with little or no compromise between the number of m/z values monitored and the performance. Ions can be measured throughout the m/z range in single sample transients by TOF. The other ICP-MS instrument used is a magnetic sector multicollector MS, the NU Plasma 1700 (Figure 2). Up to 8 adjacent m/z values can be monitored at one setting of the magnetic field and accelerating voltage. Three of these m/z values can be measured with an electron multiplier. This device is usually used for high precision isotope ratio measurements with the Faraday cup detectors. The electron multipliers have much higher sensitivity. In our experience with the scanning magnetic sector instrument in Ames, these devices have the highest sensitivity and lowest background of any ICP-MS device. The ability to monitor several ions simultaneously, or nearly so, should make these devices valuable for the intended application: measurement of actinide isotopes at low concentrations in very small samples for nonproliferation purposes. The primary sample analyzed was an urban dust pellet reference material, NIST 1648. The ability to provide good detection limits for single laser shots is critical.

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  • Report No.: IS-5162
  • Grant Number: W-7405-Eng-82
  • DOI: 10.2172/892796 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 892796
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874802

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  • November 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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Houk, R.S.; Aeschliman, D.B.; Bajic, S.J. & Baldwin, D. Comparison of Time-of-flight and Multicollector ICP Mass Spectrometers for Measuring Actinides in Small Samples using single shot Laser Ablations, report, November 1, 2005; Ames, Iowa. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874802/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.