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Echoing part of Brad's observations, but disagreeing with the rest, I'm starting to thing the adage "thou shalt bake thy silver capsules prior to loading" is a bit of a canard. Though this is part anecdotal (gathering data is never easy), we've seen *increases* in oxygen blank after baking new-from-the-box capsules (500 ˚C muffle furnace). If the OP does do a blank study (not with peak areas, but rather with isotope dilution) I'd love to see some hard data that supports the hypothesis that baking helps in some circumstances.

John