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Type: Journal article
Title: Mapping of sulfur isotopes and trace elements in sulfides by LA-(MC)-ICP-MS: potential analytical problems, improvements and implications
Author: Zhu, Z.
Cook, N.
Yang, T.
Ciobanu, C.
Zhao, K.
Jiang, S.
Citation: Minerals, 2016; 6(4):110
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2075-163X
Statement of
Zhi-Yong Zhu, Nigel J. Cook, Tao Yang, Cristiana L. Ciobanu, Kui-Dong Zhao and Shao-Yong Jiang
Abstract: Constraints on accurate quantitative trace element and sulfur (S) isotope analysis of sulfide minerals, especially pyrite, by laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) remain imperfectly understood at the present time. Mapping of S isotope distributions within a complex sample containing several minerals requires an evaluation of the matrix effects and accuracy. Here, we apply LA-Q(quadrupole)-ICP-MS and LA-MC(multiple collector)-ICP-MS methods to analyze trace elements and S isotopes in sulfides. Spot analysis of S isotopes was conducted to evaluate the influence of matrix effects. The matrix effects from siderite and magnetite are deemed to be negligible in mapping analysis at the precision of this study. Both Fe and S were used as internal standard elements to normalize trace element concentrations in pyrite. Fe proved to be the better choice because the normalized counts per second ratio of trace elements with Fe is much more stable than if using S. A case study of a sulfide sample from the Chengmenshan Cu deposit, Jiangxi Province, South China, demonstrates the potential of combined S isotope and trace element mapping by LA-(MC)-ICP-MS. The results suggest that this deposit underwent multi-stage ore formation. Elements, including Au and Ag, were hosted in early-stage pyrite but were re-concentrated into multi-component sulfide assemblages during a late-stage hydrothermal event, which also led to crosscutting veins containing pyrite largely devoid of trace elements, except Se. Combining in situ S isotope and trace element analysis on the same sample represents a powerful tool for understanding ore-forming processes.
Keywords: Sulfur isotopes; trace elements; LA-(MC)-ICP-MS; mapping; internal standard element; matrix effects
Rights: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (
RMID: 0030057639
DOI: 10.3390/min6040110
Appears in Collections:Chemical Engineering publications

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