Stable isotope ratios (18O/16O, 13C/12C, and 17O/16O) in carbonates have contributed greatly to the understanding of Earth and planetary systems, climates, and history. The current method for measuring isotopologues of CO2 derived from CaCO3 is primarily gas-source isotope ratio mass spectroscopy (IRMS). However, IRMS has drawbacks, such as mass overlap by multiple CO2 isotopologues and contaminants, the requirement of careful sample purification, and the use of major instrumentation needing permanent installation and a high power electrical supply. Here, we report simultaneous 18O/16O, 13C/12C, and 17O/16O analyses for microgram quantities of CaCO3 using a tunable mid-infrared laser absorption spectroscopy (TILDAS) system, which has no mass overlap problem and yields high sensitivity/precision measurements on small samples, as small as 0.02 μmol of CO2 (equivalent to 2 μg of CaCO3) with standard errors of less than 0.08 ‰ for 18O/16O and 13C/12C (±0.136 ‰ and ±0.387 ‰ repeatability; n = 10). In larger samples of CO2, 0.68 μmol (or 68 μg of CaCO3), standard error is less than 0.04 ‰ for 18O/16O and 13C/12C (< ±0.1 ‰ repeatability; n = 10) and 0.03 ‰ for 17O/16O (±0.069 ‰ repeatability; n = 10). We also show, for the first time, the relationship between 17O/16O ratios measured using the TILDAS system and published δ17O values of international standard materials (NBS-18 and -19) measured by IRMS. The benchtop TILDAS system, with cryogen-free sample preparation vacuum lines for microgram quantities of carbonates, is therefore a significant advance in carbonate stable isotope ratio geochemistry and is a new alternative to conventional IRMS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
High-Precision Simultaneous 18O/16O, 13C/12C, and 17O/16O Analyses for Microgram Quantities of CaCO3 by Tunable Infrared Laser Absorption Spectroscopy. / Sakai, Saburo; Matsuda, Shinichi; Hikida, Toshihide; Shimono, Akio; McManus, J. Barry; Zahniser, Mark; Nelson, David; Dettman, David L.; Yang, Danzhou; Ohkouchi, Naohiko.In: Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 89, No. 21, 07.11.2017, p. 11846-11852.
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