Chemistry Annual Research Symposium

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An area of continuing intense interest has been the development of portable or fieldable (man-portable, luggable, or transportable) analytical instrumentation. One specific driver for portable or fieldable analytical instrumentation are the needs of the nuclear safeguards community for versatile, easy-to-use, in-field mass spectrometer systems for determining the 235U/238U isotope ratios in UF6 at enrichment facilities. In order to meet this demand the authors propose using a liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge (LS-APGD) ion source, Fig 1.1-3 The LS-APGD was optimized for isotope ratio analysis to have a liquid flow rate of 30 uL min-1 a gas flow rate of 0.5 L min and a current of 30 mA. These operating parameters make the LS-APGD a promising ion source for infield mass spectrometry. In order to test the efficacy of the LS-APGD as an ion source capable of performing isotope analysis, it was interfaced with an Thermo Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer which was chosen for its atmospheric pressure inlet which is not available on commercial ICP-MS instruments. Due to the fact that there are no published studies using an orbitrap for isotope analysis, there are a large number of unknowns that need to be answered before the LS-APGD can be considered a viable option as an ion source for isotope analysis.

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