UV laser ablation and irm-GCMS microanalysis of 18O/16O and 17O/16O with application to a calcium-aluminium-rich inclusion from the Allende meteorite

Edward D. Young*, David W. Coutts, Daniel Kapitan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Analyses of 18O/16O and 17O/16O in silicate and oxide minerals by UV laser ablation of 100 X 80 X 50 μm sample pits combined with irm-GCMS yield precision and accuracy similar to that of conventional methods. This represents a 100-fold reduction in minimum size relative to other fluorination methods based on gas-source mass spectrometry and enables high-precision in-situ intracrystalline analysis of silicate minerals. Analyses of almandine, forsterite, and schorl of known isotopic compositions indicate an analytical precision of ±0.3‰ (1σ) in δ18O and ±0.4 in δ17O with an accuracy of similar magnitude. Application to meteoritic samples is demonstrated by in-situ analysis of pyroxene and melilite from a type B CAI inclusion from the Allende meteorite. The CAI data adhere to the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mineral line defined by conventional macroscopic fluorination methods and demonstrate that non-mass dependent differences of 1‰ amu-1 are discernible. The unique combination of analytical and spatial resolution afforded by the new UV laser microprobe will allow high-precision mapping of the distribution of anomalous oxygen in minerals from calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions on a previously unattainable scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3161-3168
Number of pages8
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

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