The high resolution single collector ICP-MS (HR-ICP-MS), a Finnigan Element2, is capable of analyzing elements in solution at concentrations as low as parts per quadrillion (see table above) and has a dynamic range of over 9 orders of magnitude. The Element2 is a double focussing, reverse Nier-Johnson geometry spectrometer with 3 selectable mass resolutions (M/ ΔM of 400, 3000 and 10,000). By using increased resolution, most isobaric interferences can be resolved during the analysis, minimizing the need for extensive sample processing. At low resolution the Element2 has a sensitivity of >1.5x10e9 counts/ppm at 115Indium.
Combined with the New Wave UP-213 laser ablation system, the Element2 is a powerful tool for the in-situ determination of trace elements in individual crystals and U-Pb ages of zircons. Currently we are able to determine U-Pb zircon ages with about 2-3% accuracy and precision with a 35 second laser analysis and using a 30 micron spot size.
When used with the Aridus desolvating nebulizer, the Element2 can be used for determination of REEs in small samples, or samples with low REE abundances. A Cetac ASX-100 auto-sampler is available for automated sequences along with a HEPA-filtered work enclosure for minimization of environmental contamination to samples.
The Element is also extremely useful for our everyday lab quality control (lab blanks, reagent blanks, column calibration, exact sample contents for MC-ICP-MS analyses).