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Pb/U Fractionation during Nd:YAG 213 nm and 266 nm Laser Ablation Sampling with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Volume 54, Number 10 (Oct. 2000) Page 1435-1442

Liu, Haichen; Borisov, Oleg V.; Mao, Xianglei; Shuttleworth, Stephen; Russo, Richard E.


Elemental fractionation during laser ablation sampling was investigated by measuring Pb/U ratios in NIST 610 synthetic glass. Two Nd:YAG lasers with wavelengths of 213 and 266 nm were used to ablate the sample into an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Pb/U fractionation was observed to be similar for both laser wavelengths, and dependent on the irradiance. For representative Pb/U measurements, the necessary laser irradiance should be >0.6 GW/cm2. However, if the laser beam is initially focused close to the sample surface, fractionation increases and is influenced by the formation of a crater during repetitive pulsing at a single sample location. As the ratio of crater depth to radius increases, plasma sampling and/or an effective irradiance decrease could cause additional fractionation. A good correlation was found between the fractionation of 14 elements in NIST 610 glass and the logarithms of their oxide melting temperatures.