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A current interest in chemistry concerns traceability of analytical measurements to the International System of Units (SI) and the estimation of their uncertainties in accordance with principles of metrology, that is measurement science. Primary methods of measurement achieve traceability to SI directly without intermediate reference standards or materials and without significant empirical correction factors. Isotope-dilution mass spectrometry is such a primary method with the potential of the smallest presently achievable uncertainties for many analytical measurements including those for the certification of reference materials with abnormal isotopic composition. A simple explanation of the method is given in terms of current concepts, and general equations are derived. The required uncertainty estimation is emphasized in terms of these equations.

Additional information

Authors: DE BIÈVRE P, JRC Geel (BE);PEISER H S, NIST, Gaithersburg (US)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry (1996)
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