Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The fundamental principles of inductively coupled plasmas as applied to atomic emission spectrometry (AES) and mass spectrometry (MS) are described. Attention is given to the formation of an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) including spectrometer alignment for AES and MS, and the characteristic temperature of the source. A key component of an ICP is the ability to introduce a range of samples in to the source; different sample introduction approaches are described including the combination of nebuliser / spray chambers, laser ablation and hydride / cold vapour techniques. This is followed by a description of the different types of spectrometers that are used for ICP-AES and ICP-MS, as well as a discussion on the types of spectral and non-spectral interferences that arise and their remedies. A direct comparison of the two techniques is then made using the following important variables: detection limits, analytical working range, sample throughput, purchase cost and operating cost. Finally, a brief description of the applications of ICP spectrometry is given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
ISBN (Print)9780471238966
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jun 2017


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