5 years ago

Anion-Exchange Fibers for Improved Sample Loading in Ultra-Trace Analysis of Plutonium by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Anion-Exchange Fibers for Improved Sample Loading in Ultra-Trace Analysis of Plutonium by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Charles R. Shick, Joseph M. Mannion, Glenn A. Fugate, Scott M. Husson, Brian A. Powell
A new sample loading procedure was developed for isotope ratio measurements of ultratrace amounts of plutonium with thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). The goal was to determine the efficacy of a polymer fiber architecture for TIMS sample loading by following similar sample loading procedures as those used in bead loading. Fibers with diameter of approximately 100 μm were prepared from triethylamine-quaternized-poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) cross-linked with diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane. Fiber sections (2.5 mm) were loaded with 10 pg of New Brunswick Laboratory certified reference material (NBL CRM) 128 from an 8 M HNO3 matrix and affixed to rhenium filaments with collodion. A single filament assembly was used for these analyses. Total ion counts (239Pu + 242Pu) and isotope ratios obtained from fiber-loaded filaments were compared to those measured by depositing Pu amended resin beads on the filament. Fiber loading was found to improve sensitivity, accuracy, and precision of isotope ratio measurements of plutonium when compared to the established resin bead loading method, while maintaining its simplicity. The average number of detected Pu+ counts was 180% greater, and there was a 72% reduction in standard deviation of ratio measurements when using fiber loading. An average deviation of 0.0012 (0.117%) from the certified isotope ratio value of NBL CRM Pu128 was measured when fiber loading versus a deviation of 0.0028 (0.284%) when bead loading. The fiber formation method presented in this study can be extended to other anion-exchange polymer chemistries and, therefore, offers a convenient platform to investigate the efficacy of novel polymer chemistries in sample loading for TIMS.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01455

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01455

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