Essentials of iron, chromium, and calcium isotope analysis of natural materials by thermal ionization mass spectrometry
The use of isotopes to understand the behavior of metals in geological, hydrological, and biological systems has rapidly expanded in recent years. One of the mass spectrometric techniques used to analyze metal isotopes is thermal ionization mass spectrometry, or TIMS. While TIMS has been a useful analytical technique for the measurement of isotopic composition for decades and TIMS instruments are widely distributed, there are significant difficulties associated with using TIMS to analyze isotopes of the lighter alkaline earth elements and transition metals. Overcoming these difficulties to produce relatively long-lived and stable ion beams from microgram-sized samples is a non-trivial task. We focus here on TIMS...