Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

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Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) uses a focused laser beam to ablate the sample surface, with the ablated particles carried to an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) source for ionization, followed by Mass spectrometry. This test is offered by Infinita Lab, USA, to clients in the USA and across the world through its vast laboratory network.


Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) uses a focused laser beam to breakdown the sample surface and remove (ablate) fine particulate matter. The particulates are conveyed to an Inductively Coupled Plasma generator (ICP) where the atoms are excited and ionized by high temperature plasma. The ions are then extracted into a coupled mass spectrometer (MS). In the MS, the ions are accelerated and separated based on their mass to charge ratios and their intensities recorded to produce characteristic mass spectra. A recent technical advance involves the use of Femtosecond laser pulses for ablation, to reduce damage to the molecular species being investigated. It also provides an ideal size distribution for transport into ICP-MS for better detection sensitivity.

 LA-ICP-MS is used for highly sensitive elemental and isotopic analysis to be performed directly on solid samples. Bulk analysis of solids is done with a typical laser spot size of 100 ~ 350 microns and spot analysis can be done at resolution of a few microns.

Common Uses of LA-ICP-MS

  • Bulk analysis of conductors, non-conductors and semi-conductors
  • Local inclusion and defect analysis in metals and alloys
  • Depth profiling in semiconductors, thin films
  • Elemental/isotope mapping
  • Forensic analysis
  • Age determination of geologic deposits
  • Elemental and isotopic analysis of biological tissues

Advantages of LA-ICP-MS

  • Ultra-highly sensitive chemical analysis down to ppb (parts per billion) level
  • Directly use solid sample
  • Extremely rapid testing
  • Small sample quantities

Limitations of LA-ICP-MS

  • Destruction of sample surface
  • Damage to sensitive molecules

 Industrial Applications of LA-ICP-MS

  • Semiconductors
  • Photovoltaics
  • Geology
  • Biotechnology

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