, Volume 276, Issue 2, pp 505-511
Date: 04 May 2008

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

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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.