LA-ICP-MS Imaging in the Geosciences and its Applications to Geochronology
In this open access review article, David Chew and coworkers describe the use of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma (LA-ICP-MS) imaging in geosciences. The method is rapidly growing in the field of geosciences because it reveals a wealth of fine-scale elemental and isotopic information. This data enables deciphering processes recorded in magmatic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks as well as ore minerals. The authors compare LA-ICP-MS imaging to other microbeam mapping techniques commonly employed in geosciences and describe a suite of LA-ICP-MS imaging case studies in detail.
The authors highlight that the quasi-simultaneous detection of time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzers allows rapid multi-element analysis of fast transient signals as produced in laser ablation imaging in low dispersion laser ablation cells. They conclude that LA-ICP-TOFMS is ideally suited for 2D and 3D imaging of geological and biological materials and will likely replace LA-Q-ICP-MS for such applications in the future.