Applications and Capabilities
The ABRF’s HR-ICP-MS is a Thermo Finnigan ELEMENT2 employing a double-focusing, magnetic sector-field mass spectrometer design. Thermo Finnigan, now Thermo Fisher Scientific, is one of only two manufacturers worldwide producing high-resolution ICP-MS instruments. High-resolution ICP-MS instruments differ from quadrupole ICP-MS instruments in that they rely on accurate mass resolution to separate spectral interferences as opposed to using some form of collision/reaction cell technology. Multi-element analysis across the periodic table is possible with detection limits ranging from mg/L (parts per million, ppm) or sub-pg/L (parts per quadrillion, ppq), dependent upon element species. The mass range of the ELEMENT2 is 0 to 260u.
The ABRF’s ICP-MS instrument does not have a Laser Ablation interface but the facility is equipped with a Microwave Digestor (Milestone MLS 1200 MEGA), whereby solid (and complex liquid) samples can be decomposed with strong acids or bases under heat and pressure conditions.
Thermo Finnigan ELEMENT2 high-resolution ICP-MS
What applications/analyses is ICP-MS suitable for?
ICP-MS is widely used for the measurement and isotopic analysis of elements in the following fields:
- environmental sciences
- biological sciences
- medical/clinical sciences
- earth sciences (geochemical/geological)
- chemical sciences
ICP-MS is especially useful in the analyses of metals, particularly heavy metals (e.g. Pb, Cd, Hg Au, Ag), transition metals (e.g. Cr, Zn, Fe, Ni, Cu) and Uranium (U). Speciation and isotope ratio analysis of elements is also performed with ICP-MS instruments.
A vast array of sample types and matrices can be analysed with appropriate sample preparation. Examples include elemental analysis of wine, urine, blood, dialysis fluids, seawater, drinking water, geological rocks and ocean sediments. Several US EPA Methods specify the use of ICP-MS for the identification and measurement of environmental toxics such as heavy metals.