Taylor, Rex N., Warneke, Thorsten, Milton, J. Andrew, Croudace, Ian W., Warwick, Phillip E. and Nesbitt, Robert W.
Multiple ion counting determination of plutonium isotope ratios using multi-collector ICPMS
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 18, (5), . (doi:10.1039/b300432e).
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Sector-field multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, commonly referred to as MC-ICP-MS, can now be fitted with multiple ion counting detectors in tandem with the array of Faraday detectors. In this paper, for the first time, we utilise such an array to measure plutonium isotopes. The chief advantage of multiple ion counting is that it obviates the need to cycle a number of small ion beams through a single collector, and hence increases the efficiency of ion beam usage. This increase in efficiency, combined with the elimination of effects produced by ion beam instability, makes multi-channel analysis an ideal method for low-level plutonium isotope analysis. Mass bias and inter-detector bias can be corrected using an external standard solution, which can be uranium or plutonium based. Using minimised analytical times and desolvating nebulisation, 240Pu/239Pu can be reproduced to better than 3% 2s with less than 10 fg of Pu.
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