Reassessment of relative oxide formation rates and molecular interferences on in situ lutetium-hafnium analysis with laser ablation MC-ICP-MS

Justin L. Payne*, Norman J. Pearson, Kevin J. Grant, Galen P. Halverson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of Hf and rare earth element (REE) solutions and glass beads have been produced in order to assess the influence of isobaric and molecular interferences on LA-MC-ICP-MS analysis of Lu-Hf isotopes in zircon. We demonstrate the capability to accurately correct for isobaric interferences of 176Yb on 176Hf at levels up to 176Yb/ 177Hf = 0.6 in solution mode. When using laser ablation sample introduction and REE-Hf doped glass beads we are able to accurately correct for 176Yb interferences up to 176Yb/177Hf = 0.15. These thresholds exceed the 176Yb/177Hf ratios in most natural zircon and demonstrate the general robustness of the method. Unlike solution analysis, at extreme Yb interference levels (176Yb/ 177Hf ≈ 0.8) there appears to be a slight over-correction of Yb interferences. We demonstrate using theoretical calculations that for high-REE zircons, even modest oxide formation rates can lead to inaccurate 176Hf/177Hf ratios. This finding is confirmed by data collected on REE-doped glass beads and a natural zircon sample. Importantly, Gd oxides dominate over Dy oxides as a source of molecular interferences on Hf isotope data because Gd is more prone to oxide formation. Oxide formation rates vary depending upon sample introduction, instrument tuning and N2 addition (in laser mode). Correction for molecular interferences is possible using a dynamic analysis routine but requires measurement of the relative Gd and Hf oxide formation rates for the analysis session. Hence the daily monitoring of Gd and Hf oxide formation rates will improve the accuracy of Lu-Hf LA-MC-ICP-MS results for high-REE/Hf zircons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1079
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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