Liquid Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)/Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES)

For the analysis of the elemental composition of liquid samples, ICP-MS and ICP-OES are well-established analytical techniques. If analysis of solid samples is required, in a first step the sample has to be transferred into a solution. Depending on the material, dissolution with various mineral acids or a microwave-assisted sample digestion is necessary. For the analysis of the liquid sample, typically, a nebulizer combined with a spray chamber is used to introduce sample aerosol to the ICP. In the ICP, the solvent is evaporated, and the sample is atomized, ionized, and excited. In the case of ICP-OES, light emitted from the analyte within the plasma is detected. For ICP-MS, the generated ions are transferred to a high-vacuum system and separated by their mass-to-charge ratio using a mass analyzer (quadrupole, sector field, or time-of-flight) and detected. ICP-MS/OES analysis can provide quantitative trace element analysis within liquid samples with typical detection limits in the µg/L range (Figure 1).

LA-ICP-MS /LA-ICP-OES setup: includes sample, nebulizer, aerosol, plasma torch, spectrograph/mass spectrometer

© Lukas Brunnbauer


Figure 1. Schematic representation of liquid-ICP-OES/ICP-MS