Nano-Scale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry: Potential And Pitfalls Of This Technique For Soil Organic Matter Stabilization
The mechanisms by which organic matter is stabilized in soils are still poorly understood, and it is notable that some postulated mechanisms are currently only weakly supported by data. A major obstacle to progress is the lack of techniques of adequate sensitivity and resolution for data collection needed to further our understanding of soil organic matter stabilization at relevant scales. Nano-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) is a cutting edge technology linking high resolution microscopy with isotopic analysis, which allows precise, spatially-explicit, elemental and isotopic analysis at micro-and nanoscale. The power of NanoSIMS lies in the ability of the instrument to distinguish stable isotopes of elements with a high sensitivity, i.e. concentrations in parts per million can be detected. The level of spatial resolution achievable is better than 50 nm (133Cs+ primary beam) with NanoSIMS, a significant improvement on other SIMS instruments and on X-ray micro-analytical techniques. These instruments have been applied to studies of presolar materials from meteorites, in material science, geology and mineralogy as well as biology. Recently, the potential of NanoSIMS has been demonstrated to explore in situ the biophysical interface in soils (Herrmann et al., 2007). I will present recent findings illustrating the capacity of NanoSIMS to improve our fundamental understanding of soil processes at the nano- and micro-scale, along with my experiences in the methodological approaches that need consideration with respect to experimental design and sample preparation. Herrmann, AM, Clode, PL, Fletcher, IR, Nunan N, Stockdale, EA, O'Donnell, AG, Murphy, DV, 2007. A novel method for the study of the biophysical interface in soils using nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 21, 29-34.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 0428 Carbon cycling (4806);
- 0463 Microbe/mineral interactions;
- 0469 Nitrogen cycling