Evaluation of a single collector, double focusing sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer for the determination of U and Pu concentrations and isotopic compositions at trace level

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Abstract

This work explores the performance of the “Axiom”, a double focusing sector field ICP-MS (ICP-SFMS) in the determination of actinide concentration and isotopic ratio at trace level. On the actinide mass range the performances observed are characterized by high sensitivity, around 2.8·106 cps·µg−1·l, and low background, below 0.3 cps. Therefore, the absolute instrumental detection limit is approximately 0.05 fg for Pu isotopes. Furthermore, the 235U/238U ratio for a 0.5 µg·l−1 U500 isotopic standard could now be measured using the ICP-SFMS with a relative standard deviation less than 0.1%. Moreover, the accuracy of the measured ratio was demonstrated at low concentration with the target value remaining within experimental uncertainty limits.