Development of mercury analysis by NanoSIMS for the localization of mercury–selenium particles in whale liver

Subirana, M. A., Paton, L., Hall, J., Brownlow, A. , Krupp, E. M., Feldmann, J. and Schaumlöffel, D. (2021) Development of mercury analysis by NanoSIMS for the localization of mercury–selenium particles in whale liver. Analytical Chemistry, 93(37), pp. 12733-12739. (doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c02769) (PMID:34499489)

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Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) is a dynamic SIMS technique, which offers high spatial resolution allowing the mapping of chemical elements at the nanometer scale combined with high sensitivity. However, SIMS for mercury analysis is a challenging issue due to the low secondary ion yield and has never been done on NanoSIMS. The introduction of an rf plasma oxygen primary ion source on NanoSIMS enabled higher lateral resolution and higher sensitivity for electropositive elements such as most metals. In this paper, for the first time, mercury analysis by NanoSIMS was developed applying the new rf plasma O– ion source. All mercury isotopes could be detected as Hg+ secondary ions and the isotopic pattern corresponded to their natural isotopic abundances. Furthermore, Hg+ detection in HgSe nanocrystals has been investigated where polyatomic interferences from selenium clusters were identified and separated by high mass resolution (ΔM/M ≥ 3200). However, in the presence of selenium a strong matrix effect was observed, decreasing the Hg+ secondary ion yield. In addition, a detection of Se+ ions was possible, too. The newly developed method was successfully applied to nanoscale localization by chemical imaging of HgSe particles accumulated in the liver tissue of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). This demonstrated the applicability of NanoSIMS not only for mercury detection in surface analysis but also for mercury mapping in biological samples.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work was supported by funding from the French “Ministere de l ̀ ’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche” via the project ANR-11-EQPX-0027 MARSS.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brownlow, Dr Andrew
Authors: Subirana, M. A., Paton, L., Hall, J., Brownlow, A., Krupp, E. M., Feldmann, J., and Schaumlöffel, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Analytical Chemistry
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1520-6882
Published Online:09 September 2021

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