Instrument: Thermo iCAO 7400 Duo
Hard to analyse samples often require a preliminary decomposition stage, which takes place in strong acid and under heating in a powerful, industrial microwave. The resulting samples are analysed by either mass spectrometry or, in the case of our instrumentation, optical emission spectroscopy (OES), also called atomic emission spectroscopy. Emissions are characteristic of each element, hence a fingerprint of elemental compositon can be obtained.
ICP-OES is a powerful technique for quantifying elements in a sample.
After prior digestion, if necessary, a solution of the sample is pumped into inductively coupled argon plasma, where temperatures can get as high as 9000 deg C. The nebulized solution is rapidly vaporized, molecules in the analyte are ionised and break into elements where loss and re-acquisition of electrons from each atomic ion gives off energy at a wavelength characteristic of that element.
The magnitude of the signals is proportional to the concentration of the atoms, which allows atomic compositions to be determined.
ICP-OES is used widely in research and many industrial applications, when elemental compositions are required - many samples are amenable whether solids, liquids or suspensions.
100-500mg are typically required.