LBNL Report Number
Elemental fractionation during laser ablation sampling was investigated by measuring Pb/U ratios in NIST 610 synthetic glass. Two Nd:YAG lasers with wavelengths of 213 and 266 nm were used to ablate the sample into an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Pb/U fractionation was observed to be similar for both laser wavelengths, and dependent on the irradiance. For representative Pb/U measurements, the necessary laser irradiance should be >0.6 GW/cm2. However, if the laser beam is initially focused close to the sample surface, fractionation increases and is influenced by the formation of a crater during repetitive pulsing at a single sample location. As the ratio of crater depth to radius increases, plasma sampling and/or an effective irradiance decrease could cause additional fractionation. A good correlation was found between the fractionation of 14 elements in NIST 610 glass and the logarithms of their oxide melting temperatures.