Quantifying Chalcophile Elements and Heavy Halogens by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Demonstrating the Significant Effect of Different Secondary Ion Normalizing Procedures
A novel technique for measuring heavy trace elements in geologic materials with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is presented. This technique combines moderate levels of mass resolving power (MRP) with energy filtering in order to remove molecular ion interferences while maintaining enough sensitivity to measure trace elements. The technique was evaluated by measuring a set of heavy chalcophilic elements in two sets of doped glasses similar in composition to rhyolites and basalts, respectively. The normalized count rates of Cu, As, Se, Br, and Te were plotted against concentrations to test that the signal increased linearly with concentration. The signal from any residual molecular ion interferences (e.g. ²⁹Si³⁰Si¹⁶O on ⁷⁵As) represented apparent concentrations ≤ 1 μg/g for most of the chalcophiles in rhyolitic matrices and between 1 and 10 μg/g in basaltic compositions. This technique was then applied to two suites of melt inclusions from the Bandelier Tuff: Ti-rich, primitive and Ti-poor, evolved rhyolitic compositions. The results showed that Ti-rich inclusions contained ~30 μg/g Cu and ~3 μg/g As while the Ti-poor inclusions contained near background Cu and ~6 μg/g As. Additionally, two of the Ti-rich inclusions contained > 5 μg/g of Sb and Te, well above background. Other elements were at or near background. This suggests certain chalcophilic elements may be helpful in unraveling processes relating to diversity of magma sources in large eruptions. Additionally, an unrelated experiment is presented demonstrating changes in the matrix effect on SIMS counts when normalizing against ³⁰Si⁺ versus ²⁸Si²⁺. If one uses doubly charged silicon as a reference, (common when using large-geometry SIMS instruments to study the light elements Li - C) it is important that the standards closely match the major element chemistry of the unknown.