Quadrupole ICP-MS: introduction to instrumentation, measurement techniques and analytical capabilities
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Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
The low detection limits and multi-element capability of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) makes it an attractive option in a wide range of environmental, medical, biological, industrial and archaeological applications. Quadrupole ICP-MS is used to determine element concentrations in a diverse range of sample types, often very different from the geological applications for which ICP-MS was originally developed. Whilst modern instruments are robust and capable of a high degree of automation, it is essential that users of both instrumentation and data are aware of the strengths and limitations of the technique. Many people who are now involved with the operation and application of ICP-MS instruments are not specialists in the field, as was usually the case amongst early operators. This back-to-basics review is aimed at the novice user and includes a guide to ICP-MS instrumentation and performance. Whilst solids, liquids and gases can all be measured by ICP-MS, discussion of sample introduction is limited to liquids. Requirements for producing good quality data, including aspects of sample preparation, calibration, and methods of interference limitation are also discussed.
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