An automated laser fluorination technique for high-precision analysis of three oxygen isotopes in silicates

Nak Kyu Kim, Minoru Kusakabe, Changkun Park, Jong Ik Lee, Keisuke Nagao, Yuma Enokido, Shigeru Yamashita, Sun Young Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: The three oxygen isotopes in terrestrial/extraterrestrial silicates can provide geochemical and cosmochemical information about their origin and secondary processes that result from isotopic exchange. A laser fluorination technique has been widely used to extract oxygen from silicates for δ 17 O and δ 18 O measurements by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Continued improvement of the techniques is still important for high-precision measurement of oxygen-isotopic ratios. Methods: We adopted an automated lasing technique to obtain reproducible fluorination of silicates using a CO 2 laser-BrF 5 fluorination system connected online to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. The automated lasing technique enables us to perform high-precision analysis of the three oxygen isotopes of typical reference materials (e.g., UWG2 garnet, NBS28 quartz and San Carlos olivine) and in-house references (mid-ocean ridge basalt glass and obsidian). The technique uses a built-in application of laser control with which the laser power can be varied in a programmed manner with a defocused beam which is in a fixed position. Results: The oxygen isotope ratios of some international reference materials analyzed by the manual lasing technique were found to be isotopically lighter with wider variations in δ 18 O values, whereas those measured by the automated lasing technique gave better reproducibility (less than 0.2‰, 2SD). The Δ 17 O values, an excess of the δ 17 O value relative to the fractionation line, also showed high reproducibility (±0.02‰, 2SD). Conclusions: The system described herein provides high-precision δ 17 O and δ 18 O measurements of silicate materials. The use of the automated lasing technique followed by careful and controlled purification procedures is preferred to achieve satisfactory isotopic ratio results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry

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