Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 14, pp 4959–4962

“Do it yourself” reference materials for δ13C determinations by isotope ratio mass spectrometry


DOI: 10.1007/s00216-013-6851-z

Cite this article as:
Carter, J.F. & Fry, B. Anal Bioanal Chem (2013) 405: 4959. doi:10.1007/s00216-013-6851-z


A method is described to prepare inexpensive organic reference materials for routine stable isotope work. The method blends isotope-enriched and isotope-depleted materials to match closely international measurement standards. Examples are presented showing how 13C-enriched and 13C-depleted glucose were blended to match the isotopic compositions of the international carbon isotope standards, NBS 19 and L-SVEC. Preparation of the blended standards was straightforward, and the prepared solutions proved easy to dispense into tin capsules and easy to combust in a conventional isotope analysis system. The blended materials allow a laboratory to perform a two-point calibration for isotopic composition on a daily basis, with the use of an international reference material recommended for routine quality assurance. The blending method can be applied widely to make isotope standards for other elements and compounds.


Stable isotope ratio measurements Isotope ratio mass spectrometry Reference materials Quality assurance 

Supplementary material

216_2013_6851_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (638 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 638 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific ServiceBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Griffith University - Australian Rivers InstituteBrisbaneAustralia

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