Ion Implants as Matrix-Appropriate Calibrators for Geochemical Ion Probe Analyses

Donald S. Burnett, Amy Jurewicz, Dorothy S. Woolum, Jianhua Wang, Julie M. Paque, Larry R. Nittler, Kevin D. Mckeegan, Munir Humayun, Richard Hervig, Veronika S. Heber, Yunbin Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Ion microprobe elemental and isotopic determinations can be precise but difficult to quantify. Error is introduced when the reference material and the sample to be analysed have different compositions. Mitigation of such 'matrix effects' is possible using ion implants. If a compositionally homogeneous reference material is available which is 'matrix-appropriate' (i.e., close in major element composition to the sample to be analysed, but having an unknown concentration of the element, E, to be determined) then ion implantation can be used to introduce a known amount of an E isotope, calibrating the E concentration and producing a matrix-appropriate calibrator. Nominal implant fluences (ions cm-2) are inaccurate by amounts up to approximately 30%. However, ion implantation gives uniform fluences over large areas; thus, it is possible to 'co-implant' an additional reference material of any bulk composition having known amounts of E, independently calibrating the implant fluence. Isotope ratio measurement standards can be produced by implanting two different isotopes, but permil level precision requires postimplant calibration of the implant isotopic ratio. Examples discussed include (a) standardising Li in melilite; (b) calibrating a 25Mg implant fluence using NIST SRM 617 glass and (c) using Si co-implanted with 25Mg alongside NIST SRM 617 to produce a calibrated measurement of Mg in Si.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalGeostandards and Geoanalytical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Geochemistry
  • Ion implants
  • Ion probe
  • SIMS matrix effects
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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