Verification of a correction procedure for measurement of lead isotope ratios by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Michael E. Ketterer, Michael J. Peters, Preston J. Tisdale

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Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a suitable method for determining Pb isotope ratios. This study investigates the effectiveness of a mass discrimination correction technique, which is based upon the addition of Tl to the sample and measurement of the 205Tl:203Tl ratio. The Tl correction method has been found to be highly effective for minimizing bias and drift in Pb isotope ratios under a variety of operating and sample matrix conditions, and for various samples independently analysed by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Biases for ratios with respect to 204Pb are generally controlled at <0.5% and relative standard deviations of 0.2% are attainable. Results using ICP-MS for environmental samples compare favourably with those obtained by TIMS. This correction technique is sutiable for routine analysis of environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-443
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of analytical atomic spectrometry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes



  • Environmental samples analysis
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Lead isotope ratio determination
  • Reference material analysis
  • Thallium based mass discrimination correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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