ICP-MS, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy
Major and Trace Elemental Analysis
ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) is used for trace elemental analysis of liquids or soluble inorganic or organic samples. Using ICP-MS, we can analyze over 70 elements, from lithium through uranium. It is an extremely sensitive technique, with detection limits in the parts per trillion (ppt) range for many elements in clean aqueous solutions or parts-per-billion for solid samples or those with heavier matrix loads. ICP-MS can also be used for isotopic analysis and speciation analysis. When coupled with a laser, ICP-MS can be used to analyze solid materials.
Sample digestion requirements are roughly similar to those for ICP-OES discussed above. Using microsample nebulilzation, sample amounts of under 1mL can be readily analyzed.
Full Elemental Survey
VHG Labs can also report a full survey of all the elements determinable by ICP-MS. This is a semiquantitative analysis with approx. ± 30% relative accuracy, however for most analyses this is quite acceptable accuracy for sample characterization. There is a standard “per sample” price for semiquantitative analyses. Detection limits are usually in the ng/g (ppb) range, however will depend on the sample. When sending samples for a full survey, please provide as much information as possible about the sample matrix (i.e., any major constituents present).