Compound-specific 81Br/79Br analysis by capillary gas chromatography/multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Academic Article uri icon


  • Brominated organic compounds (BOCs) are of great interest in atmospheric chemistry, natural products, geochemistry, and marine chemistry. The Br isotope ratios ((81)Br and (79)Br; average (81)Br/(79)Br = 0.97277) have significant potential for the study of the source, transport, and fate of these compounds. Currently, there is no published method for determining the Br isotopic content of BOCs in complex mixtures. To measure the ratios of stable Br in BOCs on a compound-specific basis, we assembled a gas chromatography/multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (GC/MCICPMS) system. Background signals, the formation of Ar dimers from organic hydrogen, and the solvent peak did not affect the results. The analysis of three brominated benzenes revealed that 0.3 per thousand precision can be attained when 0.3 nmol of Br are injected. For samples larger than 0.3 nmol Br, the isotopic precision was within a factor of 3 of the shot-noise limit, which is the best possible statistical precision attainable avoiding all other sources of noise.

publication date

  • 2007