ICP-MS instruments have become popular in analytical laboratories owing to their versatility. In a few minutes, the ICP-MS can produce high quality data for elements with wide range of atomic masses, from 6Li to 238U. The best results are obtained for elements that have ionization potentials lower than those of the carrying gas (Ar, 15.8 eV) and that are free of isobaric interferences. The most common applications for ICP-MS are in biological, environmental, geological, and industrial fields. The following is a modest list of materials that can be analyzed by ICP-MS: Archeological Applications: artifacts (e.g. ancient ceramics, bronze mirrors) and raw materials Biological Applications: Animals: blood, bones, feathers, feces, hair, human breath, milk, red cells, serum, shells, stomach contents, teeth, tissues, urine, zooplankton.Plants: barks, broccoli, fertilizers, fruits, garlic, grass, leaves, mushrooms, roots, tobacco, tea, tree rings, wood.Foods: beverages, food packaging, juices, milk, metabolites, rice flour, sea food.Health sciences: chemotherapy drugs, illicit drugs, medicines, toxicology studies, metabolism studies, dietary supplements.Earth Science Applications: fossils, minerals, meteorites, rocks, soil, waters.Environmental Applications: atmospheric deposits (wet, dry), brines, car exhaust particles, coal fly ash, dust, gases from landfills, incinerator wastes, organic waste, oil pollution, paint, snow, sludge,washing powders.Forensic Science: glass, illicit drugs and plants, soils, paint, metals.Industrial Applications: alloys, automobile catalytic converters, ceramics, dyes, glass, lab gloves,nuclear industry products, paint, paper, petroleum based products, plastic, rare earth element compounds, steel, silica, superconductors, sulfides.The Department of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University operates a state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific ICAP Q quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).The ICP-MS is used in combination with a Photon Machines Analyte G2 193 nm excimer laserablation system equipped with a 15 x 15 cm Hel Ex sample cell, for solid sample micro-analyses. In addition, a CETAC ASX 520 auto Sampler allows for liquid sample analyses.The ICAP Q instrument is equipped with a collision cell, which minimizes interferences caused byargon molecules (e.g., 40Ar35Cl+on 75As+, 40Ar16O1H+ on 57Fe+) and substantially improves detection limits on interference-prone low mass isotopes.The ICP-MS is capable of analyzing most elements, either as single elements or in multi-element analysis, with high precision and sensitivity. The analyses can be qualitative or quantitative.
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