Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

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Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
ICP-MS.jpg
ICP-MS Instrument
Acronym ICP-MS
Classification Mass spectrometry
Analytes atomic and polyatomic species in plasma, with exceptions; usually interpreted towards concentrations of chemical elements in sample
Manufacturers Agilent, Bruker, Horiba, PerkinElmer, Shimadzu, Spectro, Thermo
Other techniques
Related Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy
Hyphenated Liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Gas chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a type of mass spectrometry that is highly sensitive. It can see a range of metals and several non-metals at concentrations below one part in 1012 (part per trillion). It is based on hooking together an inductively coupled plasma as a method of producing ions (ionization) with a mass spectrometer as a method of separating and detecting the ions. Many chemists use Argon as a carrier gas to make the plasma. The machine sends the sample ions through a series of small cones. The cones let the plasma ions slowly enter the vacuum chamber of the mass spectrometer.

In trace elemental analysis, the method has advantages of high speed, precision and sensitivity compared to atomic absorption techniques. Analysis of lower concentrations at the same time is more prone to disruption by trace contaminants in labware and reagents used. Some analytes can not work with ICP-MS. Verification of analysis results requires additional work.

The variety of applications exceeds that of ICP-OES and includes isotopic speciation. Because ICP-MS can help make atom bombs, ICP-MS hardware is a subject for special exporting regulations.