Abstract

The accurate measurement of trace element concentrations in natural sulphides by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has been limited by the lack of matrix-matched calibration standards. The synthesis of a standard, IMER-1, by incorporating four minor and 34 trace elements into a chalcogenide glass matrix Ge28Sb12S60 is reported here. Chemical analysis by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), LA-ICP-MS, solution ICP-MS, and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) confirmed the excellent homogeneity of major elements (1-σ relative standard deviation (RSD) <1% for S, Sb and Ge) and acceptable homogeneity of most trace elements (1-σ RSD <10%). The standard was validated by analysing trace-elements concentrations in three geological pyrite specimens using IMER-1 as the calibration standard and comparing the results to previously reported values also determined by LA-ICP-MS but using a different calibration standard, STDGL2b-2. The results suggest that IMER-1 may be an appropriate calibration standard for LA-ICP-MS analysis of trace elements in natural sulphides.

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