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Selection of Internal Standards for the Determination of Major and Minor Elements in Silicate Rocks and Limestones by Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry

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Use of contained and added internal standards has been compared in laser ablation ICP-AES of silicate rocks and limestones to improve both precision and accuracy. Glass disks obtained by fusion of rocks with lithium tetraborate were sampled by means of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (355 nm, 10 Hz, 10 mJ per shot) and analyzed with an ICP emission spectrometer equipped with a segmented charge-coupled device detector. The Si and Ca major elements of the silicate and limestone samples, respectively, were compared with the Li and B flux elements for internal standardization. A 2- to 5-times improvement in the percent relative standard deviation (%RSD) of the repeatability was found, irrespective of the internal standard, leading to a repeatability in the 1-2% RSD range. On the basis of the use of Li and B as internal standards, linear calibration graphs were obtained for Si, Al, Ca, Mg, Fe, Ti, Na, and K by using reference geological materials. The possibility of using flux elements overcomes the need to have prior knowledge of the concentration when a contained element is being used as an internal standard.
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