Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS)

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy
High resolution mass spectrum captured on a 1 ppb tune solution in the mass range 105 to 155 amu

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) is a destructive chemical analysis technique which measures the elemental composition of a sample. It is one of the most sensitive multiple-element analysis methods, with detection limits down to ng/L.

Strengths
  • Extremely high elemental sensitivity: limit on the order of parts-per-trillion
  • Can detect most elements in the periodic table with a single experiment
  • Accepts a wide array of sample types (solution or solid, inorganic or organic, simple composition to complex mixtures)
  • Rapid analysis
  • Isotope detection
Limitations
  • Quantitative analysis requires parallel measurement on reference / control sample
  • Does not easily capture molecular / compound information
  • Destructive
  • Sample preparation such as sample digestion via acid can be time-consuming
  • Limited total dissolved solids (TDS) tolerance
Base Prices
Technique Variants
Pricing Starts At
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Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS)
$575 / Sample
Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (LA-ICP-MS)
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Example Outputs

High resolution mass spectrum captured on a 1 ppb tune solution in the mass range 105 to 155 amu

From: Thermo Fisher Scientific Technical Note

Calibration curve generated for 175Lu quantification in a standard / control sample. The plot shown is in log scale from 1pg∙L-1 to 5 mg∙L-1. The background of the blank was <0.3 cps, with over 10 orders of magnitude dynamic calibration range to 5 mg∙L-1 at 8.57 Gcps with an excellent correlation coefficient of R2=1.000

From: Thermo Fisher Scientific Technical Note
Instruments Used for ICP-MS
Thermo Scientific iCAP TQ ICP-MS

Thermo Scientific iCAP TQ ICP-MS

  • Detection Limits vary by atomic species: as low as < 0.5 (ng/L)b (for 9Be)
  • Abundance Sensitivity: < 0.005 ppm
  • Minimum Dwell Time: 100 μs in pulse and analog
  • Dynamic Range: more than 10 orders of magnitude
  • Stability: below 2.0 %RSD over 10 minutes
  • Isotopic Ratio Precision: below 0.1 %RSD
  • Nebulizer: Concentric glass
  • Nebulizer Default Flow Rate: 400 uL/min (pumped)
  • View Instrument Spec Sheet
Sample Requirements
  • Liquid, aqueous phase
  • We can take a solid-state sample and digest it for ICP-MS as well
  • Additional requirements depend on instrument specs
How ICP-MS Works

In a standard ICP-MS, an inert gas (argon) is inductively heated via current through a surrounding electromagnetic coil to form a plasma.

The sample (typically in liquid form) is inserted, aerosolized, and digested in the plasma into ion fragments, which are accelerated through a quadrupole mass analyzer to yield a mass spectrum.

Peaks in this spectrum correspond to the elemental ions present in the original sample, yielding quantitative and semi-quantitative elemental composition information.

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