Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP-OES/MS), ICP Analysis Services

Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) analytical techniques can quantitatively measure the elemental content of a material from the ppt to the wt% range. The only elements which cannot be measured by ICP methods are C, H, O, N and the halogens.

Solid samples are dissolved or digested in a liquid, usually an acidic aqueous solution.

The sample solution is then sprayed into the core of and inductively coupled argon plasma, which can reach temperatures of approximately 8000°C. At such high temperature, all analyte species are atomized, ionized and thermally excited, and they can then be detected and quantified with either an emission spectrometer (OES) or a mass spectrometer (MS).

ICP-OES vs ICP-MS: A Comparison of the two techniques

ICP-OES measures the light emitted at element-specific characteristic wavelengths from thermally excited analyte ions . This light emitted is separeated and meausured in a spectrometer, yielding an intensity measurement that can be converted to an elemental concentration by comparison with calibration standards.  Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) analytical technique from Evans Analytical Group (EAG).
 Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP-OES/MS) technique from Evans Analytical Group (EAG).


ICP-MS (ICP-Mass Spec) measures the masses of the element ions generated by the high temperature argon plasma. The ions created in the plasma are separated by their mass to charge ratios, enabling the identifcation and quantitation of unknown materials. ICP-MS offers extremely high sensitivity (i.e. low detection limits) for a wide range of elements


Request More Information on EAG's ICP Analysis Services

For Trace Elemental Analysis using GDMS, IGA, ICP-OES or LA-ICP-MS:

Evans Analytical Group (New York) - Sample Submittal Form (English, pdf)
Evans Analytical Group SAS (France) - Sample Submittal Form (English, pdf)
Evans Analytical Group SAS (France) - Sample Submittal Form (French, pdf)

  • Bulk quantitative survey analysis of major, minor and trace elements
  • High accuracy determination of major and minor elements in a wide range of materials
  • Quality control and process control

Signal Detected: Photons (OES) or Ions (MS)

Elements Detected: Up to 70 elements

Detection Limits: ppb

Depth Resolution: Bulk technique

Imaging/Mapping: No

  • Many elements (up to 70) can be measured in a single analysis.
  • The useful working range is over several orders of magnitude.
  • The measurement can be automated, thus improving accuracy, precision and throughput.
  • The combination of ICP-OES and ICP-MS is very powerful for determining an extremely wide range of elements concentrations, from major components to very low levels (typically sub ppb) with both high accuracy and high precision.
  • The sample to be analyzed must be fully digested prior to analysis in order to analyze the elements of interest.
  • Emission spectra can be complex and elemental interferences are possible if the wavelength of the element of interest is very close to that of another element.
  • In the mass spectra, common matrix elements and other molecular species can interfere with the measurement of some elements.
  • Multiply charged or polyatomic ionic species can create difficulties in quantification.
  • Aerospace
  • Sputter targets
  • Chemicals
  • Alloy producers
  • Food/beverage
  • Geological
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Environmental water, wastewater, processing water
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