Isotope selective effects in resonance ionization mass spectrometry (RIMS) pose a potentially serious limitation to the application of this technique to the precise and reproducible measurement of isotope ratios. In order to identify some of the underlying causes of isotope selectivity in RIMS and to establish procedures for minimizing these effects, we investigated laser-induced isotope selectivity in the resonance ionization of Os. A single-color, one-photon resonant ionization scheme was used for several different transitions to produce Os photoions from a thermal atomization source. Variations in Os isotope ratios were studied as a function of laser parameters such as wavelength, bandwidth, power and polarization state. Isotope selectivity is strongly dependent on laser power and wavelength, even when the bandwidth of the laser radiation is much larger than the optical isotope shift. Variations in the ^(190)Os/^(188)Os ratio of ≈20% for a detuning of 0.8 cm^(−1) were observed on a transition with a small oscillator strength. Large even—odd isotope selectivity with a 13% depletion of ^(189)Os was observed on a ΔJ = +1 transition at low laser intensity; the odd mass Os isotopes are systematically depleted. For ΔJ = −1 and 0 transitions the isotope selectivity was reduced by polarization scrambling and for strongly saturating conditions. A technique employing the wavelength dependence of even—even isotope selectivity as an internal wavelength standard was developed to permit accurate and reproducible wavelength adjustment of the laser radiation. This technique provides control over laser-induced isotope selectivity for single-color ionization and enabled us to obtain reproducible measurements of ^(192)Os/^(188)Os and ^(189)Os/^(190)Os ratios in the saturation regime for a ΔJ = +1 transition with a precision of better than 0.5%. The application of this wavelength-tuning procedure should significantly improve the quality of RIMS isotope ratio data for many elements
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.