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Development of sample introduction methods and analytical protocols for high-precision and accurate isotopic analyses via multi collector ICP Mass Spectrometry for innovative and interdisciplinary applications (FWOAL604)

Although as a first approximation, it can be stated that the isotopic composition of materials is constant in nature, variations do occur - to a relatively pronounced extent as a result of the decay of naturally occurring long-lived radionuclides and to a smaller extent (generally) as a result of isotope fractionation effects, accompanying physical and biological processes as well as chemical reactions. The high-resolution multi-collector ICP - mass spectrometer available at UGent and used in a consortium between UGent, KULeuven end VUB allows isotope ratios to be measured with extremely high precision. Novel measurement protocols and sample preparation methods - quantitative isolation of the target elements as a pure fraction is required - will be developed and the strategies thus obtained will be used in interdisciplinary projects aiming at, e.g., provenance determination of archaeological objects, development of a new diagnostic tool for tracing down specific diseases or their evolution via blood analysis or documenting seawater composition over geological times in the context of palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Efforts will also be made to understand a more recently discovered phenomenon - mass-independent isotope fractionation - with the final aim of also incorporating it in a later stage in real-life applications.
Date:1 Jan 2011 →  31 Dec 2014
Keywords:Geology, Multi collector ICP-MS
Disciplines:Mathematical sciences, History and archaeology, Biological sciences, Earth sciences, Chemical sciences