Multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) has resulted in an important tool for highly precise and accurate isotope ratio measurements and thus opening new horizons in research.
The hyphenation of MC-ICP-MS to chromatographic separation techniques, like liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography (GC), opens the possibility to precisely determine element isotope ratios within speciation applications. This approach will be invaluable in the attempt to further elucidate environmental, biological and geochemical pathways and the final fate of elements and element species.
The wide experience and modern instrumentation of the Mass Spectrometry Centre, which is part of the Scientific-Technical Service of the University of Oviedo (Spain), has turned it into a recognized research centre for trace metal speciation and isotopic analysis at Spanish and European level.
The acquisition within this year of a MC-ICP-MS instrument, the first one in Spain, will consolidate its prestige in this field. The aim of this research project is the development of methodologies for isotope ratio measurement with MC-ICP-MS in transient signals obtained after a chromatographic separation (HPLC and GC).
HPLC separations will be used for
- geochemical dating (Rb-Sr and Nd-Sm) and food science based on Sr isotope ratios, and
- for the study of highly contaminated areas based on the isotopic fractionation of Fe and S species. The GC separations will be applied to:
- the speciation of organotin compounds,
- the certification of 119Sn-labelled butyltin compounds which have been prepared at the University of Oviedo, and
- the measurement of S isotope ratios in organosulphur compounds (aminoacids and petroleum compounds).
Fields of science
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