Molecules containing the element oxygen can be further characterized by the distributions of the stable oxygen isotopes 16O, 17O and 18O. In some cases, these isotopes have an anomalous distribution, which is evidence of Mass Independent Fractionation (MIF). Although it is new, MIF has become a powerful research tool in earth system science because it is a sensitive marker of particular chemical reactions. Because MIF is a clear signature that cannot be erased, its use is expected to spread from the core science disciplines to industrial applications.
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- Mass independent oxygen isotope fractionation