, Volume 370, Issue 4, pp 358-362

An interlaboratory study to test instrument performance of hydrogen dual-inlet isotope-ratio mass spectrometers

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Abstract

An interlaboratory comparison of forty isotope-ratio mass spectrometers of different ages from several vendors has been performed to test 2H/1H performance with hydrogen gases of three different isotopic compositions. The isotope-ratio results (unsufficiently corrected for H3 + contribution to the m/z = 3 collector, uncorrected for valve leakage in the change-over valves, etc.) expressed relative to one of these three gases covered a wide range of values: –630‰ to –790‰ for the second gas and –368‰ to –462‰ for the third gas. After normalizing the isotopic abundances of these test gases (linearly adjusting the δ values so that the gases with the lowest and highest 2H content were identical for all laboratories), the standard deviation of the 40 measurements of the intermediate gas was a remarkably low 0.85‰. It is concluded that the use of scaling factors is mandatory for providing accurate internationally comparable isotope-abundance values. Linear scaling for the isotope-ratio scales of gaseous hydrogen mass spectrometers is completely adequate.

Received: 13 November 2000 / Revised: 19 February 2001 / Accepted: 26 February 2001