Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Zinc Isotopes

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5423-1


Zinc has five naturally occurring stable isotopes (64Zn, 66Zn, 67Zn, 68Zn, and 70Zn) with natural abundances of 48.6%, 27.9%, 4.1%, 18.8%, 0.6%, respectively. Because 64Zn and 66Zn are the most abundant, variations to the ratio of 66Zn/64Zn are typically reported, expressed in the conventional delta notation (δ66Zn) relative to the JMC-Lyon (close to exhaustion) and AA-ETH (latest) Zn standards.

Zinc isotopes are routinely measured by multicollector inductively coupled plasma source mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Measurements by the thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) are also possible but difficult due to the element’s high first ionization potential, leading to a low Saha constant. Common column protocols for Zn purification can easily achieve sufficient recovery rate, but the degree of purification should be high for Zn as many elements can generate an interference on Zn isotopic measurements. Mass bias during Zn isotopic measurement can be corrected using...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Brocks JJ (2018) The transition from a cyanobacterial to algal world and the emergence of animals. Emerg Top Life Sci 2(2):181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dupont CL, Butcher A, Valas RE, Bourne PE, Caetano-Anollés G (2010) History of biological metal utilization inferred through phylogenomic analysis of protein structures. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(23): 10567–10572ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Isson TT, Love GD, Dupont CL, Reinhard CT, Zumberge AJ, Asael D, Gueguen B, McCrow J, Gill BC, Owens J (2018) Tracking the rise of eukaryotes to ecological dominance with zinc isotopes. Geobiology 16(4): 341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. John SG, Geis RW, Saito MA, Boyle EA (2007) Zinc isotope fractionation during high-affinity and low-affinity zinc transport by the marine diatom Thalassiosira oceanica. Limnol Oceanogr 52(6): 2710–2714ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Larner F, Shousha S, Coombes RC (2015) Zinc isotopes: a novel approach to biomarkers of breast cancer? Biomark Med 9(4):379–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Maret W (2013) Zinc biochemistry: from a single zinc enzyme to a key element of life. Adv Nutr 4(1):82–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Paniello RC, Day JM, Moynier F (2012) Zinc isotopic evidence for the origin of the Moon. Nature 490(7420):376–379ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Twining BS, Baines SB (2013) The trace metal composition of marine phytoplankton. Annu Rev Mar Sci 5:191–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Twining BS, Baines SB, Bozard JB, Vogt S, Walker EA, Nelson DM (2011) Metal quotas of plankton in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Deep-Sea Res II Top Stud Oceanogr 58(3):325–341ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Weber T, John S, Tagliabue A, DeVries T (2018) Biological uptake and reversible scavenging of zinc in the global ocean. Science 361(6397):72–76ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.University of WaikatoTaurangaNew Zealand