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Determination of 87Sr/86Sr and δ88/86Sr ratios in plant materials using MC-ICP-MS

Abstract

A protocol for highly accurate and precise determination of Sr isotope ratios in plant materials, 87Sr/86Sr and δ 88/86Sr, by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) is presented in this study. An Eichrom Sr resin was used for matrix separation and an improved Zr empirical external normalization coupled with standard-sample bracketing method (Zr EEN-SSB) was applied to mass bias correction during Sr isotope MC-ICP-MS measurements. Potential influences of matrix elements, and polyatomic and isobaric interferences on the Sr isotopic determination were further evaluated using NIST SRM 987 Sr isotopic standard spiked with various amount of Ca, Mg, and Rb contents. Concentrations of Ca and Mg lower than 30 ng g–1 or Rb < 2 ng g–1 in 150 ng g–1 Sr analyte were estimated to have only a minor effect on Sr isotope ratios determination. On the other hand, intensity differences between sample and standards (IntSample/IntStandards) represented a large δ 88/86Sr deviation of <0.9 or >1.3, reflecting the significance of intensity bias attributed to different mass bias behavior. An apple leaf material, NIST SRM 1515, was adopted as the plant material for overall evaluation of sample digestion, matrix separation, and potential spectral interferences on the measurements of Sr isotope ratios. Our results suggest that the partially remaining organic compounds in the incomplete digestion would have a significant bias on the extraction chromatography procedure, resulting in sizable uncertainty in δ 88/86Sr ratios. Thus, complete digestion of the organic-enriched materials is of great importance for efficiency assurance in matrix separation. Extraction chromatography works well for the total digested samples, where Ca, Mg, and Rb were efficiently removed. The obtained average 87Sr/86Sr and δ 88/86Sr values for the NIST SRM 1515 apple leaves are 0.71398 ± 0.00004 and 0.23 ± 0.03‰ (2SD, n = 10), respectively.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST-104-2116-M-006-005), Taiwan to C.F.Y.

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Correspondence to Chen-Feng You.

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Published in the topical collection Applications of Isotopes in Analytical Ecogeochemistry with guest editors Thomas Prohaska, Andreas Zitek, and Johanna Irrgeher.

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Liu, HC., Chung, CH., You, CF. et al. Determination of 87Sr/86Sr and δ88/86Sr ratios in plant materials using MC-ICP-MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 408, 387–397 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-015-9070-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-015-9070-y

Keywords

  • NIST SRM-1515
  • Sr isotopes
  • Mass spectrometry/ICP-MS
  • Microwave digestion