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Practical Guide to ICP-MS


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Table of Contents

An Overview of ICP-MS
Principles of Operation

Principles of Ion Formation
Ion Formation
Natural Isotopes

Sample Introduction
Aerosol Generation
Droplet Selection
Spray Chambers

Plasma Source
The Plasma Torch
Formation of an ICP Discharge
The Function of the RF Generator
Ionization of the Sample

Interface Region
Capacitive Coupling
Ion Kinetic Energy
Benefits of a Well-Designed Interface

Ion-Focusing System
Role of the Ion Optics
Dynamics of Ion Flow
Commercial Ion Optic Designs

Mass Analyzers: Quadrupole Technology
Quadrupole Technology
Basic Principles of Operation
Quadrupole Performance Criteria

Mass Analyzers: Double-Focusing Magnetic Sector Technology
Magnetic Sector Mass Spectroscopy: A Historical Perspective
Use of Magnetic Sector Technology for ICP-MS
Principles of Operation of Magnetic Sector Technology
Resolving Power
Other Benefits of Magnetic Sector Instruments
Summing Up

Mass Analyzers: Time-of-Flight Technology
Basic Principles of Time-of-Flight (TOF) Technology
Commercial Designs
Differences between Orthogonal and On-Axis TOF
Benefits of TOF Technology for ICP-MS

Mass Analyzers: Collision/Reaction Cell and Interface Technology
Basic Principles of Collision/Reaction Cells
Different Collision/Reaction Cell Approaches
The Collision/Reaction Interface
Using Reaction Mechanisms in a Collision Cell
The "Universal" Cell
Detection Limit Comparison

Ion Detectors
Channel Electron Multiplier
Faraday Cup
Discrete Dynode Electron Multiplier
Extending the Dynamic Range
Extending the Dynamic Range Using Pulse-Only Mode

Peak Measurement Protocol
Measurement Variables
Measurement Protocol
Optimization of Measurement Protocol
Multielement Data Quality Objectives

Methods of Quantitation
Quantitative Analysis
Semiquantitative Analysis
Isotope Dilution
Isotope Ratios
Internal Standardization

Review of Interferences
Spectral Interferences
Matrix Interferences

Sample Preparation
Collecting the Sample
Preparing the Sample
Grinding the Sample
Sample Dissolution Methods
Choice of Reagents and Standards
Vessels, Containers, and Sample Preparation Equipment
The Environment
The Analyst
Instrument and Methodology

Routine Maintenance
Sample Introduction System
Interface Region
Ion Optics
Roughing Pumps
Air Filters
Other Components to Be Periodically Checked
Final Thoughts on Routine Maintenance

Alternative Sample Introduction Techniques
Laser Ablation
Flow Injection Analysis
Electrothermal Vaporization
Chilled Spray Chambers and Desolvation Devices
Direct Injection Nebulizers (DIN)
Enhanced Productivity Sampling Systems

Coupling ICP-MS with Chromatographic Techniques for Trace Element Speciation
HPLC Coupled with ICP-MS
Chromatographic Separation Requirements
Sample Introduction Requirements
Optimization of ICP-MS Parameters

Common ICP-MS Applications
Other Applications

Emerging ICP-MS Application Areas
The Analysis of Power Plant Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewaters (FGDW)
Multielement Analysis of Seawater Using Automated Inline Chemistry Procedures
The Characterization of Nanoparticles by ICP-MS
Field Flow Fractionation (FFF) Coupled with ICP-MS

Comparing ICP-MS with Other Atomic Spectroscopic Techniques
Flame Atomic Absorption
Electrothermal Atomization (ETA)
Radial-View ICP Optical Emission
Axial-View ICP Optical Emission
Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

How to Select an ICP Mass Spectrometer: Some Important Analytical Considerations
Evaluation Objectives
Financial Considerations
The Evaluation Process: A Summary

Final Thoughts

Appendix: Useful Contact Information
Glossary of ICP-MS Terms

About the Author

Robert J. Thomas, GRIC, FRSC is principal of Scientific Solutions, a consulting company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that serves the application, training, and technical writing needs of the trace element analysis user community. He has worked in the field of atomic spectroscopy (AS) for almost 40 years, with over 20 years' experience in ICP-MS applications, product development, and sales and marketing support at Perkin Elmer Instruments, Inc. He has written more than 80 technical publications covering a wide variety of atomic spectroscopic subject matter, from the fundamental principles of the technique, to articles solving real-world application problems with AA, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS analytical instrumentation.


Praise for the First Edition

"Any new user of ICP-MS or anyone contemplating entering the field will find the Practical Guide to ICP-MS an essential first step. This book demystifies ICP-MS and shows readers just how accessible a technique it really is. ... [It] is written clearly and is well organized. ... As a practitioner of ICP-MS for more than 20 years, I highly recommend this book as a primer to students, new users, laboratory managers, and users of ICP-MS data. The price of the book is well worth investing for Chapter 20 alone, which deals with the selection criteria for instrument purchase. More-experienced users and teachers will find that this book is a useful source of information on the current state of ICP-MS and its place in analytical atomic spectrometry."
-Spectroscopy Magazine

"This book will be particularly useful to students and analytical chemists who are about to use an ICP-MS, and also those in management who might have a basic understanding of atomic spectroscopic techniques but not necessarily ICP-MS. ... [The author] hoped the book might find a place on the analyst's desk or by the instrument and would be well used. Indeed, this is where my copy will probably be found."
-The Analyst

"... a valuable introduction to the subject for anyone interested in ICP-MS. ... [a] highly informative book ... . "
-Today's Chemist at Work

"...[this book] highlights everything from basic component descriptions and features to guidelines describing where and when...ICP-MS is most appropriately employed....I look forward to seeing this book used in many training programs, classrooms, and analysis laboratories."
-Ramon M. Barnes, Director, University Research Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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