15F6 Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) | Natural History Museum

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Agilent 7700x ICP-MS

Agilent 7700x ICP-MS

The Agilent 7700x ICP-MS

Key facts

Technique: inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) 

Elements routinely determined: Li, Be, Al, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Rb, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, platinum-group elements, Cd, Sn, Sb, Cs, Ba, rare earth elements, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Tl, Pb, Th, U

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is used to analyse trace and ultra-trace levels of most metals and some non-metals in rocks, minerals, waters and organic and man-made materials.

How it works

  • An inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is used to atomise and ionise the sample.
  • A mass spectrometer is used to separate and detect ions by their mass-to-charge (M/Z) ratio.

The detector can achieve linear performance from parts per trillion or lower, up to hundreds of parts per million in solution. The excellent sensitivity of the instrument and the very efficient collision/reaction cell interface means that analysis of difficult elements such as V, Cr and As can be particularly good.


Museum lead

Dr Stanislav Strekopytov, Senior Analytical Chemist