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Absolute ¹³C/¹²C isotope amount ratio for Vienna PeeDee Belemnite from infrared absorption spectroscopy

Fleisher, AJ; Yi, H; Srivastava, A; Polyansky, OL; Zobov, NF; Hodges, JT; (2021) Absolute ¹³C/¹²C isotope amount ratio for Vienna PeeDee Belemnite from infrared absorption spectroscopy. Nature Physics , 17 pp. 889-893. 10.1038/s41567-021-01226-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Measurements of isotope ratios are predominantly made with reference to standard specimens that have been characterized in the past. In the 1950s, the carbon isotope ratio was referenced to a belemnite sample collected by Heinz Lowenstam and Harold Urey in South Carolina’s PeeDee region. Due to exhaustion of the sample since then, reference materials that are traceable to the original artefact are used to define the Vienna PeeDee Belemnite scale for stable carbon isotope analysis. However, these reference materials have also become exhausted or proven to exhibit unstable composition over time, mirroring issues with the international prototype of the kilogram that led to a revised International System of Units. A campaign to elucidate the stable carbon isotope ratio of Vienna PeeDee Belemnite is underway, but independent measurement techniques are required to support it. Here we report an accurate value for the stable carbon isotope ratio inferred from infrared absorption spectroscopy, fulfilling the promise of this fundamentally accurate approach. Our results agree with a value recently derived from mass spectrometry and therefore advance the prospects of International System of Units–traceable isotope analysis. Further, our calibration-free method could improve mass balance calculations and enhance isotopic tracer studies in carbon dioxide source apportionment.

Type: Article
Title: Absolute ¹³C/¹²C isotope amount ratio for Vienna PeeDee Belemnite from infrared absorption spectroscopy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41567-021-01226-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-021-01226-y
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Characterization and analytical techniques, Near-infrared spectroscopy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131639
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