A community-led calibration of the Zr isotope reference materials: NIST candidate RM 8299 and SRM 3169

François L.H. Tissot, Mauricio Ibañez-Mejia, Savelas A. Rabb, Rebecca A. Kraft, Robert D. Vocke, Manuela A. Fehr, Maria Schönbächler, Haolan Tang, Edward D. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As the field of zirconium (Zr) stable isotopes is rapidly expanding from the study of mass-independent to that of mass-dependent isotope effects, a variety of Zr standards have appeared in the literature. While several of these standards have been proposed as the ideal isotope reference material (iRM) against which all data should be reported, none of them have been shown to meet the compositional and/or conflict-of-interest-free distribution requirements put forth by the community. To remedy this situation, we report on a community-led effort to develop and calibrate a scale defining iRM for Zr isotopes: NIST RM 8299. Developed in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from the widely used SRM 3169 Zirconium Standard Solution (certified for mass fraction), the candidate RM 8299 was calibrated through an inter-laboratory study involving three laboratories. Our data show that candidate RM 8299 meets all requirements of an ideal iRM. It is an isotopically homogeneous, high-purity reference material, that is free of isotope anomalies, and whose composition is identical to that of a major geological reservoir (Ocean Island Basalts). Furthermore, RM 8299 will be curated and distributed by NIST, a neutral, conflict-of-interest free organization, and was produced in sufficient quantities to last multiple decades. We recommend that all Zr isotope data be reported against RM 8299. Our results also show that SRM 3169 lots #130920 and #071226 have indistinguishable composition compared to candidate RM 8299. Therefore, using RM 8299 as the scale defining iRM will enable direct comparison of all future data with the vast majority of the existing literature data, both for mass-independent and mass-dependent isotope effects. To facilitate conversion of δ94/90Zr values reported against other Zr standards, we provide high-precision conversion factors to the RM 8299 scale obtained using the double-spike method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2087-2104
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 19 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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