Applications of the LA-ICP-MS Elemental Chemistry Platform
The technical facilities include a clean room for chemical sample preparation, a plasma source multi-collection mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS), a thermal ionisation mass spectrometer (TIMS) and a high-resolution plasma source mass spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS) equipped with a laser ablation ion source (LA). In addition, it is equipped with a micro-drill for high spatial resolution solid sampling and a device for the elemental analysis of major ions in aqueous solution by ion chromatography (IC).
Intended for the preparation of samples for purification and pre-concentration, this space meets the conditions of an ultra-clean atmosphere of ISO level 5. Spread over five rooms and occupying a total surface area of 80 m2, it has seven workstations under laminar flow hoods and all the associated equipment: fume cupboards, ultra-pure water production systems, high-precision balance, evaporation boxes under filtered atmosphere, reagent purifiers, etc.
Plasma Source Multi-Collection Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS)
The ThermoFisher Scientific Neptune Plus instrument is equipped with a Jet interface, nine Faraday collectors (with a range of 1010, 1011 and 1012 ohm resistance amplifiers), a secondary electron multiplier (SEM) and four compact discrete dynode detectors (CDD). The instrument is dedicated to high-precision analysis of the isotopic compositions of elements such as strontium, neodymium, uranium, thorium, lead, iron, copper, zinc and cadmium, as well as, thanks to the high resolution, silicon.
Thermionization mass spectrometer (TIMS)
The VG Sector 54-30 is equipped with seven Faraday collectors and an extension consisting of an electrostatic energy filter and a Daly detector configured in ion counting mode. It is valued for its separation efficiency, sensitivity and linearity and is still used for strontium, lead, thorium and uranium isotope analyses.
High resolution plasma source mass spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS)
This Element-XR instrument performs elemental and isotopic analyses on samples in solution or solids. In the latter case, it is coupled to a laser ablation sampling system (193 nm) that allows in situ analysis of solids prepared in polished sections or thin slides. The laser provides improved spatial resolution with a scale down to 10 μm (commonly 150 μm).
A Geomill-type micro-drill is used to sample rock veins of millimetre thickness. The sample taken from a smooth surface is recovered in powder form, which is then purified in a clean room and analysed by isotope mass spectrometry.
Ion chromatography (IC) elemental analysis apparatus
This instrument used in elemental analysis measures the concentration of dissolved major ions in solution. The model is a Dionex Aquion (Thermo Scientific) equipped with a sample changer and a self-regenerating suppressor. It can analyse anions and cations in a concentration range of 5 ppb to 20 ppm.