High-Precision Laser Spectroscopy D/H and 18O/16O Measurements of Microliter Natural Water Samples

GP Lis, LI Wassenaar, MJ Hendry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

302 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Newly available gas analyzers based on off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) lasers have been advocated as an alternative to conventional isotope-ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) for the stable isotopic analysis of water samples. In the case of H2O, OA-ICOS is attractive because it has comparatively low capital and maintenance costs, the instrument is small and field laboratory portable, and provides simultaneous D/H and 16O/18O ratio measurements directly on H2O molecules with no conversion of H2O to H2, CO, or H2/CO2−water equilibration required. Here we present a detailed assessment of the performance of a liquid-water isotope analyzer, including instrument precision, estimates of sample memory and sample mass effects, and instrumental drift. We provide a recommended analysis procedure to achieve optimum results using OA-ICOS. Our results show that, by using a systematic sample analysis and data normalization procedure routine, measurement accuracies of ± 0.8‰ for δD and ±0.1‰ δ18O are achievable on nanoliter water samples. This is equivalent or better than current IRMS-based methods and at a comparable sample throughput rate.
Translated title of the contributionHigh-Precision Laser Spectroscopy D/H and 18O/16O Measurements of Microliter Natural Water Samples
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287 - 293
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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