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New avenues in isotope analyses: The Thermo Scientific™ Neoma™ MC-ICP-MS/MS

Multicollector inductively coupled mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) is irreplaceable in modern isotope ratio mass spectrometry of metals. The advent of this technique paved the way to analyze large parts of the periodic table to investigate scientific questions with up to single ppm precision. However, the application is limited by the presence of Ar-based interferences inherent to the Ar plasma source and by the need to elaborately purify samples by chemical treatment to overcome isobaric interferences.

The introduction of single-collector ICP-MS/MS instruments opened a new way of on-line chemical separation during the measurement by using a mass filter prior to a collision/reaction cell. A confined mass range can be introduced into the reaction cell where different chemical behavior of the elements allows selective mass shift reactions into another mass range that has been cleared by the mass filter for interference-free analyses. Great potential of this application has been identified in the field of in situ geochronology of beta-decay systems such as Rb-Sr.

The Neoma MS/MS combines for the first time the unprecedented precision of MC-ICP-MS with a proprietary pre-cell mass filter and the chemical selectivity of a collision/reaction cell in a commercially available instrument. Earlier analytical concepts were improved by a novel pre-cell mass filter and hexapole collision/reaction cell to guarantee the full performance of the standard Neoma MC-ICP-MS while adding the new abilities of MS/MS. Here, we report on the benefits for a variety of new applications within geosciences.


Markus Pfeifer1, Grant Craig1, Henning Wehrs1, Claudia Bouman1, Nicholas S. Lloyd1, Johannes B. Schwieters1
1Thermo Fisher Scientific (Bremen) GmbH, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022