February 2018

LGC scientist invited on to IAEA Working Groups for Stable Isotope Reference Products

Towards the end of 2016, Phil Dunn, a researcher in the Inorganic Analysis Team and Chair of the Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) network, was invited to an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Technical Meeting on Stable Isotope Reference Products.

There he presented the work involved developing our current and future reference materials certified for absolute carbon isotope ratios. These are the only stable isotope reference materials that are fully traceable directly to the kilogram (SI-traceable) and not dependent on calibration to an artefact.  He also gave an overview of the production of reference materials under ISO Guide 34 accreditation at LGC.

Following his attendance at this meeting, Phil has been asked to join three IAEA Working Groups (WGs) to support their standardisation efforts.

The first WG is on Reference Material Production, with the main remit of defining protocols that should be followed by the IAEA when characterising and producing primary and secondary reference materials for the light element isotope ratio delta scales. The second group, which Phil is leading, is the Communication WG. This group has the main aim of establishing a stable isotope ratio knowledge repository hosted by the IAEA where new and existing users of the technique can find out information on all aspects of stable isotope analysis. The third WG is on Terminology, responsible for the standardisation of terms used in stable isotope analysis.

The IAEA is one of the central organisations responsible for the standardisation of light element isotope ratios and Phil’s invitation on to these WGs recognises his expertise and LGC’s reputation in this field.
ERM-AE672a Glycine - absolute carbon isotope ratio