Project Vienna: A Novel Precell Mass Filter for Collision/Reaction Cell MC-ICPMS/MS

Grant Craig, Henning Wehrs, Dan G Bevan, Markus Pfeifer, Jamie Lewis, Christopher D Coath, Tim Elliott, Chao Huang, Nicholas S Lloyd, Johannes B Schwieters

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

14 Citations (Scopus)
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The last decade has seen widespread adoption of triple quadrupole-based inductively coupled plasma-tandem mass spectrometry (ICPMS/MS) technique using a collision/reaction cell in combination with a precell bandpass mass analyzer to measure isotopes otherwise masked by spectral interferences. High-precision isotope ratio analysis containing such isotopes would benefit from a similar capability on a multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) platform, but using a quadrupole-based precell mass analyzer for MC-ICPMS/MS has several limitations. To overcome these limitations, we developed a novel precell mass analyzer for MC-ICPMS/MS using sector field technology. The new precell mass analyzer, comprising two Wien filters and a selection aperture, and a hexapole collision/reaction cell were integrated together in a single module and added to the commercially available Thermo Scientific Neptune XT MC-ICPMS to create a prototype MC-ICPMS/MS we named Vienna. Vienna was proven to retain the same performance of the base MC-ICPMS in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, and precision. Using the Vienna mass filter to eliminate Ar-based species, the abundance sensitivity achievable was equivalent to TIMS at mass 237.05, which was used to accurately determine the low 236U/238U isotope ratio of the uranium reference material IRMM184 (certified value, 1.2446 × 10-7). The performance of Vienna was then tested for a variety of geoscience applications that were expected to benefit from MC-ICPMS/MS technique, including Ca, K, Si, and in situ Rb/Sr dating by laser ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10519-10527
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work in part was supported by a NERC CASE studentship between the University of Bristol and Thermo Fisher Scientific (NE/P010342).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


  • Isotopes
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Spectrum Analysis


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