ICP-MS method development & quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)
Cutting-edge analytical methods and hands-on clean laboratory geochemistry are a strong foundation of projects in the BRG. The group specializes in ultra-trace element analytical measurements of natural waters, sediment, rocks, as well as biological and synthetic materials. The BRG leads a quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry facility (equipped with a new Agilent 8900 ICP-MS/MS instrument) and low-metal clean laboratory (scheduled for opening in 2023). The facility will also soon be aided by a new Anton Paar Multiwave 7000 digestion system capable of high-P digestions in trace-element purity PTFE-TFM vessels. Students gain unique experience with highly sensitive clean laboratory sample preparation, ICP-MS operation, and the quality control handling of elemental data. Many studies call for continuous method development and refinement to minimize analytical bias, improve measurement precision and detection limits, and expand the list of analytes and materials possible to measure. The BRG routinely publishes new ultra-trace element data for internationally available reference materials such as the iron ore concentrate (IOC-1) and Ottawa River water (SLRS-6) materials.