Plasma Chemistry Laboratory

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VG Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (PlasmaQuad 3) uses an inductively coupled plasma to ionize aqueous samples. The sample's ions are then introduced into a mass spectrometer via a low pressure interface.

Once in the high vacuum region of the mass spectrometer, ions are accelerated and focused into a mass filter by a set of charged plates. The mass filter sorts the ions according to mass-to-charge ratio, only allowing specific masses to reach the detector. The detector is sensitive to charged ions and they can be counted individually or integrated with time.

This instrument is capable of elemental analysis of most of the periodic chart in the low ppts. ICP-MS requires 2 ml sample types analyzed to date, consisting of various proteins, soils, water, and plants. Standard analytical procedure consists of adding an internal standard in 2% nitric acid and analyzing. All acid sensitive samples should be brought to our attention prior to analysis.

View list of elements.


The PerkinElmer Optima 8300 is a bench-top, dual-view ICP-OES with two solid-state SCD detectors, delivering superior detection limits and true simultaneous measurements.with simultaneous 30+ element capability burns an aqueous sample in an argon flame. Elements present in a given sample emit light at characteristic wavelengths with an intensity directly proportional to the element concentration. OES analyses require at least 2 ml of sample.

Most types samples can be measured in solution. Typical sample types include, plant tissue, soils, proteins, bones, animal tissue, waste water, and contamined water.


  View list of elements


Nu Instruments NPII Multiple Collector ICP-MS

Installed in Summer 2015, the Nu Instruments NPII High Resolution Multiple Collector ICP-MS (HRMC ICP-MS) represents the newest area of research and service for the Plasma Chemistry Lab. The Nu Plasma II is a double focussing magnetic sector ICP-MS, designed to provide the best possible  precision for simultaneous isotope ion detection. The instrument utilizes a unique, variable dispersion ion optical Zoom lens enabling the simultaneous measurement of the isotopes of elements from lithium to uranium on its static collector of sixteen Faraday detectors and five ion-counting electron multipliers. Initial laboratory emphases will be focussed on Pb and Sr isotopic systems.

  View list of isotopes

Other Equipment includes microbalances, standard analytical balances, a microwave digestion system, a freeze-dryer for lyophilizing tissue, and a jar mill for grinding samples for low-level metal analysis.

We use several EPA-approved and AOAC methods for preparation and analysis. 

 For further information contact CAIS (706) 542-1395