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- Absolute isotope ratio (2)
- Metrology (2)
- Avogadro constant (1)
- CCQM (1)
- Isotope amount ratios (1)
- Isotope ratio (1)
- Isotope reference material (1)
- Lead (1)
- Lead isotope ratios (1)
- Lead isotope variations (1)

#### Organisationseinheit der BAM

Lead (Pb) isotope amount ratios are commonly used in applications ranging from archaeology and forensic sciences to terrestrial and extra-terrestrial geochemistry. Despite their utility and frequency of use, only three certified isotope amount ratio reference materials are currently available for Pb: NIST SRMs 981, 982 and 983. Because SRM 981 has a natural Pb isotopic composition, it is mainly used for correcting instrumental mass discrimination or fractionation. This means that, at present, there are no other certified isotope reference materials with natural Pb isotopic composition that could be used for validating or verifying an analytical procedure involving the measurement of Pb isotope amount ratios.
To fill this gap, two new reference materials, both certified for their Pb isotopic composition, have been produced together with a complete uncertainty assessment. These new reference materials offer SI traceability and an independent means of validating or verifying analytical procedures used to produce Pb isotope amount ratio measurements.
ERM-EB400 is a bronze material containing a nominal Pb mass fraction of 45 mg/kg. ERM-AE142 is a high purity solution of Pb with a nominal mass fraction of 100 mg/kg. Both materials have been specifically produced to assist analysts in verifying or validating their analytical procedures. Note that while one of these reference materials requires the chemical separation of Pb from its matrix (ERM-EB400), the other does not (ERM-AE142). Details on the certification of these isotope reference materials are provided in this report.

An international comparison study on the accurate determination of the molar mass M(Si) of silicon artificially enriched in 28Si (x(28Si) > 0.9999 mol mol−1) has been completed. The measurements were part of the high level CCQM-P160 pilot study assessing the ability of National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs) to make such measurements at the lowest possible levels of measurement uncertainty and to identify possible difficulties when measuring this kind of sample. This study supports the molar mass measurements critical to disseminating the silicon route to realizing the new definitions for the kilogram and the mole. Measurements were also made by one external research institute and an external company. The different institutes were free to choose their experimental (mass spectrometric) set-ups and equipment, thereby enabling also the comparison of different techniques. The investigated material was a chemically pure, polycrystalline silicon material. The subsequent modified single crystalline secondary product of this material was intended for the production of silicon which was used for two additional spheres in the context of the redetermination of the Avogadro constant NA, required for the revision of the International System of Units (SI) via fundamental constants which came into force from May 2019. The CCQM pilot study was organized by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Aqueous silicon solutions were shipped to all participating institutions. The data analysis as well as the uncertainty modelling and calculation of the results was predefined. The participants were provided with an uncertainty budget as a GUM Workbench® file as well as a free software license for the duration of the comparison. The agreement of the values of the molar mass (M(Si) = 27.976 942 577 g mol−1) was excellent with ten out of 11 results reported within the range of relative uncertainty of 1 × 10−8 required
for the revision of the SI.

The determination of the mass fractions of bromide, sulfate, and lead as well as the isotopic composition of the lead (expressed as the molar mass and the amount fractions of all four stable lead isotopes) in an aqueous solution of sodium chloride with a mass fraction of 0.15 g/g was the subject of this comparison. Even though the mass fractions ranged from 3 μg/g (bromide) to 50 ng/g (lead), almost all results reported agreed with the according KCRVs.

Lead isotope amount ratios are commonly used in diverse fields such as archaeometry, geochemistry and forensic science. Currently, five reference materials with certified lead isotope amount ratios are available, namely NIST SRM 981, 982 and 983, GBW-04442 and NMIJ 3681-a. Only NIST SRM 981 and NMIJ 3681-a have approximately natural isotopic compositions, and NIST SRM 981 is predominantly used for correcting mass discrimination/mass fractionation in the applied mass spectrometric procedures. Consequently, there is no other certified reference material available to be used for validation and/or quality control of the analytical procedures applied to lead isotope amount ratio measurements. To fill this gap, two new reference materials have been produced and certified for their lead isotope amount ratios. For both certified reference materials, complete uncertainty budgets have been calculated and SI traceability has been established. This provides the users with independent means for validating and verifying their analytical procedures and for conducting quality control measures. ERM-EB400 is a bronze material with a nominal lead mass fraction of 45 mg kg-1 and certified lead isotope amount ratios of n(206Pb)/n(204Pb) = 18.072(17) mol mol-1, n(207Pb)/n(204Pb) = 15.578(18) mol mol-1 and n(208Pb)/n(204Pb) = 38.075(46) mol mol-1 with the associated expanded uncertainties (k = 2) given in brackets. ERM-AE142 is a high-purity solution of lead in 2% nitric acid with a nominal mass fraction of 100 mg kg-1 and certified Pb isotope amount ratios of n(206Pb)/n(204Pb) = 21.114(17) mol mol-1, n(207Pb)/n(204Pb) = 15.944(17) mol mol-1 and n(208Pb)/n(204Pb) = 39.850(44) mol mol-1 with the associated expanded uncertainties (k = 2) given in brackets. Both materials are specifically designed to fall within the natural lead isotopic variation and to assist users with the validation and verification of their analytical procedures. Note that while one of these reference materials requires the chemical separation of Pb from its matrix (ERM-EB400), the other does not (ERM-AE142). As additional information, δ208/206PbNIST SRM981 values are provided for both materials. For ERM-AE142, a delta value of δ208/206PbNIST SRM981 = -28.21(30) ‰ was obtained, and for ERM-EB400, a delta value of δ208/206PbNIST SRM981 = -129.47(38) ‰ was obtained, with the associated expanded uncertainties (k = 2) given in brackets.