Determination of lithium contents in silicates by isotope dilution ICP-AAS and its evaluation by isotope dilution thermal ionisation mass spectrometry

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A precise and simple method for the determination of lithium concentrations in small amounts of silicate sample was developed by applying isotope dilution-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ID-ICP-MS). Samples plus a Li spike were digested with HF-HClO4, dried and diluted with HNO3, and measured by ICP-MS. No matrix effects were observed for 7Li/6Li in rock solutions with a dilution factor (DF) of ≥ 97 at an ICP power of 1.7 kW. By this method, the determination of 0.5 μg g-1 Li in a silicate sample of 1 mg can be made with a blank correction of <1%. Lithium contents of ultrabasic to acidic silicate reference materials (JP-1, JB-2, JB-3, JA-1, JA-2, JA-3, JR-1 and JR-2 from the Geological Survey of Japan, and PCC-1 from the US Geological Survey) and chondrites (three different Allende and one Murchison sample) of 8 to 81 mg were determined. The relative standard deviation (RSD) was typically <1.7%. Lithium contents of these samples were further determined by isotope dilution-thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS). The relative differences between ID-ICP-MS and ID-TIMS were typically <2%, indicating the high accuracy of ID-ICP-MS developed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-382
Number of pages12
JournalGeostandards and Geoanalytical Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004



  • Isotope dilution-ICP-MS
  • Lithium
  • Meteorites
  • Silicate reference materials
  • TIMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology

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