Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) is routinely used to analyse major, minor and some trace elements in digests of rocks, minerals, organic and man-made materials, experimental solutions, and fluids.
How it works
- An inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is used to produce excited atoms from a sample. These emit electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths characteristic of a particular element.
- A spectrometer separates and resolves these lines and measures their strength.
- Analysis of waters from sewage treatment plants.
- Chemical analysis of meteorites and lunar rocks (10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01165.x).
- Investigation of the potential reuse of incinerated waste.
- Quantification of silicon content in plants (10.1039/C1AY05144J).
- Study of elemental tracers in biological samples.
- Detection of platinum-group elements in industrial samples.
- Chemical analysis at the Museum
- Technique: inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)
- Solution volumes required for analysis: 5-10ml, depending on the application
- Detection limits: from hundreds of parts per billion (ppb) to one ppb
- Elements routinely determined: Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Rb, S, Sc, Si, Sr, Ti, V, Y, Zn, Zr