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Instrumentation & Methods: ICP/MS, Uranium . Jeff Brenner Minnesota Department of Health. EPA Method 200.8 Overview and Fundamentals of ICP-MS. Determination of Metals Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Overview & Fundamentals of ICP-MS What we will cover .

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Instrumentation & Methods: ICP/MS, Uranium


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    1. Instrumentation & Methods: ICP/MS, Uranium Jeff Brenner Minnesota Department of Health

    2. EPA Method 200.8Overview and Fundamentals of ICP-MS Determination of Metals Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

    3. Overview & Fundamentals of ICP-MS What we will cover • Overview and Fundamentals • ICP-MS Theory • Interferences • Reports

    4. EPA 200.8ICP-MS Definition • An analytical technique to determine Elements using Mass Spectrometry from Ions generated by an Inductively Coupled Plasma. • Mass Spectroscopy • Separation and measurement of the mass of individual atoms making up a given material

    5. EPA 200.8Analytical Benefits of ICP-MS • Rapid multi-element quantitative analysis • Very low detection limits • Rapid semi-quantitative analysis • Wide dynamic range • Isotopic analysis • Spectral simplicity • Speciation (with HPLC)

    6. EPA 200.8Isotopes and Mass Spectra • Isotopes of an element differ in the number of neutrons in the nucleus • U Atomic Number 92 • 234U has 142 neutrons • 235U has 143 neutrons • 238U has 146 neutrons

    7. EPA Method 200.8U Isotope Abundance • Isotope Half Life Natural Specific Years Abundance Activity (pCi/ug) 234U 246,000 0.0055 % 6208.2 235U 700 million 0.72 % 2.17 238U 4.47 billion 99.27 % 0.336

    8. EPA Method 200.8 Isotopes and Mass Spectra • The Isotopic abundance of most elements is constant • Pb may differ slightly based on the source of the Pb • Pb is analyzed as the sum 206 Pb 207 Pb 208 Pb

    9. EPA Method 200.8 Ions and Mass Spectra • Positive ions are produced by the energy in the plasma • In order to utilize a mass spectrometer an ion is necessary • ICP-MS analyze isotopic ions • The ions are “steered” throughout the ion path of the spectrometer.

    10. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Spectrum • A series of peaks that correspond to mass to charge ratio (m/z) • Peaks could be the sum of different isotopes of different elements • Doubly charged ions will appear ½ its mass • 138Ba double charges will appear at 138/2 = 69

    11. EPA Method 200.8 Isobaric Spectral Overlaps • Signal at given amu is the summation of all the isotopes at that amu • It is best to avoid potential overlaps by monitoring a “clean” mass • Overlaps are correctable in software

    12. EPA Method 200.8 Isobaric Spectral Overlaps • Several factors must be considered when selection an isotope: • Concentration of analyte • Concentration of interferences • Abundances of isotopes at the given mass

    13. EPA Method 200.8 Molecular Overlaps • Polyatomic or molecular ions will occur • Common ones are Ar, O, and H based • Be aware of molecular overlaps that are formed: • Plasma (Ar) • Solvents (O, H, Cl, N) • Samples (C, Cl, S)

    14. EPA Method 200.8 Molecular Overlaps • Elements in the ICP do not fully break apart and recombination of highly concentrated elements will occur • Example 56Fe and 40Ar+16O • Background spectral features have been well characterized

    15. EPA Method 200.8 Factors Affecting Ion Intensities • Isotopic Abundance Intensity • Intensity of an isotope is proportional to its natural abundance • The sum of the signals from all isotopes of an element are compared to the signal from a mono-isotopic element, the signals ideally should be equal Example: Element Percent Relative Isotope Abundance Intensity 55Mn 100.0 100.0 234U 0.0055 0.0055 235U 0.7200 0.7200 238U 99.2745 99.7245

    16. EPA Method 200.8 Factors Affecting Ion Intensities • Percent Ionization Element % Ionized Na 100 As 50 Se 34 F 0.001 Most elements are ionized greater than 90%.

    17. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS System Courtesy: Perkin Elmer

    18. EPA Method 200.8 Spray Chamber and Nebulizer

    19. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region • Plasma creates ions from the components in the sample. • Heat from 6,000K-10,000K dries, aerosol, then atomize, and ionize components of the sample.

    20. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region (Plasma) • Plasma is formed by a stream of argon gas flowing between to quartz tubes. • Radio frequency (RF) power is applied through the coil, and an oscillating magnetic field is formed. • An electrical discharge creates seed electrons and ions.

    21. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region (Plasma) • Inside the induced magnetic field, the charged particles are forced to flow in a closed annular path. • As they meet resistance, heating takes place and additional ionization occurs.

    22. EPA Method 200.8 Reaction Cell • Pressurized with a reactive gas • Convert isobar to a different ion which does not interfere • Convert analyte to polyatomic ion which is not interfered • The specific chemistry is dependent on: • Nature and density of the reactive gas • Electrical fields within the cell

    23. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region (Lens) • Before sampler cone 760 torr • Before skimmer cone 3 torr • After skimmer cone 1e-3 torr

    24. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region (Lens) • Material extracted from the plasma are composed of a mixture of the following: • Neutral atoms (Ar) Molecules (O2) • Positively charged atomic and molecular ions (Ar+, O2+) • Reactive metastable atoms and ions • Negatively charged atomic and molecular ions • Photons • Electrons

    25. EPA Method 200.8 ICP-MS Ion Source Region (Lens) • The lens captures and guides the positively charged ions to the quadrupole. • By applying a positive potential to the lens, the ions will be focused to the center of the lens. • Small ions are optimized at lower voltages. As the voltage is increased, higher mass ions are better focused. • If the voltage is to high the ions are repelled.

    26. EPA Method 200.8 Reaction Cell or Collision Cell • A reaction gas is introduced into the cell. The reaction of the gas with the interfering species is set up to remove these interferences from the path.

    27. EPA Method 200.8 Quadrupole Courtesy: PerkinElmer • Mass Filtering System • Separates on type of element (ion) from another with an electromagnetic field. • Only one mass (m/z) will make it through at a time. Many masses enter, only one makes it out.

    28. EPA Method 200.8 Perkin Elmer Optimization • After initiating the plasma, allow the instrument to warm up while aspirating a blank solution for at least 15 minutes. • Mass Calibration Tune • DRC II Tuning Solution • (1 ppb Mg, In, Ce,Ba,Pb, U) and check for responses and RSDs. Generate and evaluate a tune report.

    29. Perkin Elmer DRC II Optimization Suggestions • Suggested guidelines for an acceptable tune for method 200.8 • Sensitivity: Mg > 8,000 cts/0.1 sec/10 ppb In >40,000 cts/0.1 sec/10 ppb U >30,000 cts/0.1 sec/10 ppb • Precision: Mg < 5 % RSD (0.1 sec integration time) In < 5 % RSD (“) U < 5 % RSD (“) • Oxides: < 3.0% • Ba++/Ba+ < 3.0% • Background: Mass 220 < 2 cps • Mass Accuracy: +/- 0.05 AMU

    30. EPA Method 200.8 Daily Performance Check • Sensitivity • Nebulizer • Autolens • x-y adjustment • Detector Optimization • Oxides to High: • Reduce nebulizer flow (plasma temperature increases) • Dirt cones • Reduce peristaltic pump speed • Increase RF power • Double Charged ions too high: • Decreased RF power • Increase nebulizer flow • Check skimmer 0-ring • Poor precision • Check entire sample introduction system • Check the nebulizer • Check that the correct method is used • Perform a visual check of the plasma! Is it stable?

    31. EPA Method 200.8 Isobaric Correction • Counts at mass 114 = 114Cd + 114Sn 114Cd = mass 114 - 114Sn • We cannot measure the counts of Sn at mass 114 directly since 114Cd can also be present. However, we can measure another isotope of Sn (118) that is free from overlap by Cd. Therefore: • 114Cd = mass 114 – (a114Sn/a118Sn)*(118Sn)

    32. EPA Method 200.8 Isobaric Correction • The abundance ratio (a114Sn/a118Sn) of these two isotopes is (0.65%/24.23%) and is reasonably constant. Therefore: • 114Cd = mass 114 –(0.65%/24.23%)*(118Sn) • Correction = -(0.0268)*(118Sn) • 114Cd = mass 114 – (a114Sn/a118Sn)*(118Sn)

    33. EPA Method 200.8 Polyatomic Correction • Interference of Chloride on Arsenic • High concentrations of chloride react with argon in the plasma to form the following: • 40Ar35Cl interfering on 75As • 40Ar37Cl interfering on 77Se • As has only one isotope at mass 75 • 40Ar35Cl can cause isobaric overlap & Erroneously high results • Must measure 40Ar35Cl contribution and subtract it from the total counts at mass 75 • Total counts mass 75 = counts from 75As plus counts from 40Ar35Cl 75As = mass 75- 40Ar35Cl

    34. EPA Method 200.8 Polyatomic Correction • We cannot measure the ArCl contribution at mass 75, however, we can measure the ArCl contribution from 40Ar37Cl at mass 77 • The equation then becomes: • 75As = mass 75- (a40Ar35Cl/a40Ar37cl)*(40Ar37Cl) • The relative intensities of 40Ar35Cl and 40Ar37Cl are determined by the isotopic ratio of 35Cl to 37Cl. • 75.77%/24.23%=3.127 • 75As = mass 75-3.217*(40Ar37Cl) • Correction = -3.127* 77Se

    35. EPA Method 200.8 Polyatomic Correction • If Se is present in the sample, the correction becomes more complicated. 77Se will contribute intensity counts to mass 77. • Therefore, measure Se at mass 82 and multiply the result by the ratio of 77Se to 82Se. • 75As = mass 75-3.127*(mass77-77Se) • 75As = mass 75-3.127*[(mass77-(a77Se/a82Se)*82Se] • 75As = mass 75-3.127*[(mass77-0.874*82Se] • Correction -3.127*77Se+2.733* 82Se

    36. EPA Method 200.8 Types of Methods Measuring Uranium • Total concentration method 200.8 • Uranium analysis by ICP-MS • Results reported as ug/L • Not very labor intensive • Limitations • Can not detect 234U and 235U isotope • Conversion is accurate if isotopes are present in natural abundance • Bias radioactivity concentration low

    37. EPA Method 200.8 Uranium Calculation • Uranium radioactivity • A (pCi/L) = U (ug/L) * 0.67 (pCi/ug) Where: A = activity of uranium U = uranium concentration 0.67 = conversion factor 40 CFR part 141.25 Analytical methods for radioactivity. Footnote 12

    38. EPA Method 200.8 Types of Methods Measuring Uranium • Total activity method 908.0 • Uranium chemically separated • Analyzed on alpha-beta proportional counter • Total activity of all three uranium isotopes • Reported as pCi/L • Limitations • Can not distinguish isotope • Conversion is accurate if isotopes are present in natural abundance • Bias mass concentration high • Labor intensive

    39. EPA Method 200.8 Types of Methods Measuring Uranium • Isotopic activity method • Uranium chemically separated • Similar to total activity • Alpha spectrometer • Able to distinguish uranium isotope • Results can be reported as pCi/L or ug/L • Limitations • Labor intensive

    40. EPA Method 200.8U Isotope Abundance • Isotope 234U 235U 238U • Half Life (years)246,000 700 million 4.47 billion • Natural Abundance 0.0055 % 0.72 % 99.27 % • Specific Activity(pCi/ug) 6,208 2.17 0.336 • Relative Intensity 0.0055 0.72 99.27