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Multielemental Laser-Enhanced Ionization Spectrometry for the Determination of Lead at the Trace Level in Pelletized Coal Using Laser Ablation and Internal Standard Signal Normalization

Volume 58, Number 6 (June 2004) Page 727-733

Gravel, Jean-François Y.; Viger, Mathieu L.; Nobert, Philippe; Boudreau, Denis


Laser ablation laser-enhanced ionization (LA-LEI) was used for the simultaneous measurement of lead and indium in pelletized graphite and coal samples. UV Laser ablation of the solid samples was performed in an ablation cell and the ablated material was carried by a flow of gas to a miniature LEI flame where lead was detected. The influence of parameters such as binder content of the solid pellets and dispersion of the analytes spiked in the sample material, as well as the number of ablation pulses per crater on signal repeatability and on the size and shape of ejected particles was examined. Measurement repeatability values of 2 to 5% of relative standard deviation were obtained using indium as an internal standard to correct for variations in the ablation rate. A limit of detection of 120 nanograms per gram was calculated for the determination of Pb in high-purity graphite. The Pb concentration in the NIST 1632c Bituminous Coal certified reference material was determined to within 1% of its certified value, using graphite as the matrix-matching material and In as the internal standard in pelletized solid samples.