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Trace Element Laboratory

The Trace Element Laboratory at the Marine Sciences Research Center, supported by the National Science Foundation Major Research Initiative, houses a Finnigan MAT Element 2, high mass resolution, double-focusing, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS), with several class-100 trace metal clean benches and sample introduction systems. Those include a New Wave UP-213 Laser Ablation system for direct analysis of solids, and two different sample introduction systems for liquid samples (CETAC ASX-100 micro-autosampler and a CETAC ASX-510 auto-sampler). We have also acquired a CETAC U-6000AT+ Nebulizer and an AridusTM Desolvating Microconcentric Nebulizer.

For low metal level determinations, the Trace Element Laboratory has a 400-square foot, class-100 trace metal clean laboratory for sample manipulations. The analytical facility also has a new Graphite Furnace/Flame Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 800 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer and a Shimadzu High Performance Liquid Chromatographer for the analysis of metals and organic contaminants.


Element 2 Finnigan MAT Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

This new generation of high resolution, double-focusing ICP-MS provides the lowest limit of detection in all matrices, with the highest sensitivity and lowest dark noise of any ICP-MS. The sample analysis is free from interferences through high mass resolution. The Element 2 also delivers the highest precision isotope ratios of any single collector ICP-MS. The Element 2 ICP-MS is fully automated, from instrument tuning through sample set-up, analysis and report generation.

While an extensive bibliography is available on ICP-MS, for further information about the principles of high resolution, double-focusing ICP-MS, please consult:

Moens, L. and Jakubowski, N. 1998. Double-Focusing Mass Spectrometers in ICPMS. Analytical Chemistry 70 (7), pages 251A-256A.

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New Wave Universal Platform UP-213 Laser Ablation System

tel_03The UP-213 is the second generation, high-performance Nd:YAG deep UV (213 nm) laser ablation system that provides flat crates and high absorption for the analysis of opaque and transparent material alike. The Universal Platform series is the latest innovation in laser ablation systems and incorporates the most recent advances in laser ablation technology.

For further information about LA-ICPMS applications, please consult the following references:

Abram, N.J. et al. 2003. Coral reef death during the 1997 Indian Ocean dipole linked to Indonesian wildfires. Science 301, 952-955.

Reichart, G-J. et al. 2003. Single foraminiferal test chemistry records the marine environment.Geology 31, 355-358.

Halter, W.E. Pettke, T., and Heinrich, C.A. 2002. The origin of Cu/Au ratios in porphyry-type ore deposits. Science 296, 1844-1846.

Thorrold, S.R., Latkoczy, C., Swart, P.W. and Jones, C.M. 2001. Natal homing in a marine fish metapopulation. Science 291, 297-299.

Ireland, T. 1999. New Tools for Isotopic Analysis. Science 286, 2289-2290.



CETAC ASX-100 micro-autosampler and CETAC ASX-510 auto-sampler

The ASX-100 random access intelligent micro autosampler is designed for use with sample volumes from 200 microliters to 1500 microliters. It is the ideal auto sampler to use with any application that requires analysis of small volume samples. The ASX-100 was specifically designed for ultra-trace level analysis. The ASX-510 random access intelligent autosampler is used with high volume samples (milliliters). A continuous flow sample probe rinse station incorporating a built-in peristaltic pump is used to reduce contamination and sample carryover. Both autosamplers at the MSRC Trace Element Laboratory are located inside a class-100 trace metal clean bench to minimize sample contamination.

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CETAC U-6000AT+ Nebulizer and AridusTM Desolvating Microconcentric Nebulizer

tel_06The Aridus sample introduction system is a third generation sampling device that provides the advantages of desolvation and micro-volume sampling. The U-6000AT+ adds a second desolvation stage (membrane desolvator) to the U-5000AT+ nebulizer. The membrane desolvator effectively removes solvent (water and volatile organics) which escapes from the U-5000AT+condensor. The use of these two systems provides up to two order of magnitude enhancement in sensitivity, improves detection limits and reduces many polyatomic ion interferences.

For further information about the ICPMS-Nebulizer coupling, please consult:

Field, M.P., and Sherrell, R.M. 2003. Direct determination of ultra-trace levels of metals in fresh water using desolvating micronebulization and HR-ICP-MS: application to Lake Superior waters. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 18, 254-259.

Field, M.P., Cullen, J.T. and Sherrell, R.M. 1999. Direct determination of 10 trace metals in 50 μL samples of coastal seawater using desolvating micronebulization sector field ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 14, 1425-1431.





Class-100 Trace Metal Clean Laboratory

For sample preparations and manipulations

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Graphite Furnace/Flame PerkinElmer AAnalyst 800 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

For single metal analysis, the Trace Element Laboratory is equipped with an AAnalyst 800. This instrument is equipped with an automated motorized atomizer, allowing switching between flame and furnace by software command. The instrument is equipped with a transversely heated graphite atomizer (THGA) with longitudinal Zeeman effect background corrector. The graphite furnace system includes true temperature control and integrated platform tubes providing STPF conditions for almost interference-free trace metal analysis.



Shimadzu High Performance Liquid Chromatographer

For analysis of dissolved organic constituents, the Trace Element Laboratory is equipped with a Shimadzu HPLC (LC-VP/LC-10A series) with UV-Vis and fluorescence detectors. This instrument is being interfaced with the ICP-MS for the determination of different organic species of trace metals in natural waters.


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