Since its foundation, isotope chemistry has been applied to numerous fields of science and technology, ranging from fundamental aspects of molecular structures and forces, to organic and biological reaction mechanisms, to various natural processes to the separation of stable isotopes. Basic research on stable isotopes of light elements is threefold: study of physicochemical properties of isotopically pure compounds and biological consequences of their doses, tracer studies for chemical, biological, and natural reactions and processes, and study to determine and understand the causes, mechanisms, and processes leading to the separation or fractionation of stable isotopes. This chapter focuses on the third category, i.e., the principles and applications of isotopic separation/fractionation of light elements in aqueous and hydrothermal systems. The chapter is largely based on knowledge gained during the past decades in the field of stable isotope geochemistry. It is important to point out that the last two decades have witnessed many exciting findings of isotopic fractionation, such as non-mass-dependent fractionation and the development of novel analytical techniques of isotopic ratios, which include continuous-flow MS, SIMS, and tunable IR lasers.
|Title of host publication||Aqueous Systems at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures|
|Subtitle of host publication||Physical Chemistry in Water, Steam and Hydrothermal Solutions|
|Number of pages||43|
|State||Published - Aug 14 2004|