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TitleAblative and transport fractionation of trace elements during laser sampling of glass and copper
AuthorOutridge, P MORCID logo; Doherty, W; Grégoire, D C
SourceSpectrochimica Acta, Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy vol. 52, issue 14, 1997 p. 2093-2102,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1996427
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProgramIndustrial Partners Program
AbstractThe fractionation of trace elements due to ablation and transport processes was quantified during Q-switched infrared laser sampling of glass and copper reference materials. Filter-trapping of the ablated product at different points in the sample introduction system showed ablation and transport sometimes caused opposing fractionation effects, leading to a confounded measure of overall (ablative + transport) fractionation. An unexpected result was the greater ablative fractionation of some elements (Au, Ag, Bi, Te in glass and Au, Be, Bi, Ni, Te in copper) at a higher laser fluence of 1.35 × 104W cm-2 than at 0.62 × 104W cm-2, which contradicted predictions from modelling studies of ablation processes. With glass, there was an inverse logarithmic relationship between the extent of ablative and overall fractionation and element oxide melting point (OMPs), with elements with OMPs < 1000°C exhibiting overall concentration increases of 20-1340%. Fractionation during transport was quantitatively important for most certified elements in copper, and for the most volatile elements (Au, Ag, Bi, Te) in glass. Elements common to both matrices showed 50-100% higher ablative fractionation in copper, possibly because of greater heat conductance away from the ablation site causing increased element volatilisation or zone refinement. These differences between matrices indicate that non-matrix-matched standardisation is likely to provide inaccurate calibration of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analyses of at least some elements.

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