Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

type of mass spectrometry that uses an inductively coupled plasma to ionize the sample

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.

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
ICP-MS Instrument
ClassificationMass spectrometry
Analytesatomic and polyatomic species in plasma, with exceptions; usually interpreted towards concentrations of chemical elements in sample
ManufacturersAgilent, Bruker, Horiba, PerkinElmer, Shimadzu, Spectro, Thermo
Other techniques
RelatedInductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy
HyphenatedLiquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Gas chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

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.