Group Workshop Activity 1

Workshop Activity on Reference Materials for LA-ICP-MS

Alan Koenig and Kate Souders (USGS Denver)

All NAWLA registrants will be invited to participate in an exercise during the workshop on reference materials (RMs) for LA-ICP-MS analysis with the aims of (1) improving calibrations of “difficult” matrices (tissues, bones, food, synthetic materials, minerals with unusually high or low element concentrations, etc.); and defining community needs for (2) improved reference values for currently available RMs and (3) developing new synthetic or natural RMs.

The workshop activity will distribute participants of wide-ranging skills and expertise into working groups. Over break-out sessions, each group will be challenged to design a plan for calibration of analytes in an assigned material using common RMs and their accepted reference values (from databases such as GeoReM) by LA-ICP-MS. Groups will present a summary of how they would go about analyzing the given material, accounting for potential differences between RMs and the unknowns in terms of spectral interferences, variable laser drill rate, the need to use pulse vs. analog counting for low and high concentrations, respectively, of the same m/z, etc.

The workshop activity will be allocated with specific time in the technical program. A questionnaire will be distributed to all registrants before the workshop to solicit suggestions for specific materials that should be included in the activity, and for RMs that need to be better calibrated or newly developed for particular matrices.