Mass Spectrometric Methods for the Determination of Ultra Trace Actinides

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 276, Issue 2, pp 505-511

First online:

Evaluation of a new generation quadrupole-based ICP-MS for uranium isotopic measurements in environmental samples

  • F. PointurierAffiliated withCommissariat à l’Energie Atomique, DAM-DIF/DASE/SRCE Email author 
  • , A. HubertAffiliated withCommissariat à l’Energie Atomique, DAM-DIF/DASE/SRCE
  • , N. BaglanAffiliated withCommissariat à l’Energie Atomique, DAM-DIF/DASE/SRCE
  • , P. HémetAffiliated withCommissariat à l’Energie Atomique, DAM-DIF/DASE/SRCE

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Abstract

We compare the analytical performance of a modern quadrupole-based ICP-MS (“X-Series”, Thermo-Electron, Winsford, UK) with a single-collector double-focusing sector-field ICP-MS (“Axiom”, VG Elemental, Winsford, UK) for uranium isotopic measurements in environmental samples. We focus on the precision and accuracy obtained with both instruments for the 235U/238U isotopic ratios and on the abundance sensitivity that is a key parameter for low 236U/238U isotopic ratios measurements. We observe that isotopic measurements are more precise accurate with the “X-Series” than with the “Axiom”. Besides, we demonstrate that the “Axiom’s” higher abundance sensitivity limits its capability to measure 236U/238U ratio below a few ppm.