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Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

MANUFACTURER ESi New Wave/Agilent Technologies
MODEL ESi NWR193/Agilent 7500cs
AVAILABILITY via appointment
RESTRICTIONS May only be used in the presence of technician
PORTABILITY not portable
TRAINING Training is required to use this item and we can arrange this if needed.
CONTACT 1 Will Brownscombe
CONTACT 2 Stanislav Strekopytov
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This dedicated laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) system is capable of low-level trace element determinations in most solid materials, with minimal sample destruction and spatial resolutions of 1-150 microns. Precise uranium-lead (U-Pb) age determinations can be obtained in zircons and other accessory mineral phases.

How it works

the energy of the laser beam is transferred to the sample and causes material to be removed (ablated).

the ions are separated in the mass spectrometer according to their mass-to-charge ratio and then counted on a detector

Most inorganic solid materials are suitable for LA-ICP-MS from which quantitative data may be obtained. Some organic materials may also be analysed to provide qualitative data. Materials suited for analysis include:

rocks, minerals (including age determination of accessory minerals), bones, teeth, shells, glasses, ceramics, metals, paints, plastics, paper/inks, organic (keratin) tissues such as feathers, horn, beaks, hair, plants and wood


Samples do not need surface preparation, but quantitative data quality is improved considerably if the samples are polished.

Samples should be clean, dry and where possible any carbon coating from previous electron probe microanalysis should be removed.

Any gold coating on samples previously imaged by scanning electron microscopy or ion probe analysis must be removed thoroughly. Residues of gold coating can severely affect LA-ICP-MS data quality.

Samples that need to be prepared (cut, mounted and polished) should be presented to the preparation laboratory at least four weeks prior to the LA-ICP-MS booking.

Sample sizes that can be accommodated Prepared materials: these are normally presented in the form of 25mm diameter polished blocks or polished thin/thick sections of 48mm x 26mm (typical probe size). Tissue section sizes and 25mm circular sections can also be accommodated. Odd section and block sizes may also be accommodated.

Unprepared samples: oddly sized and shaped samples may be accommodated up to the size of the sample chamber (100mm x 100mm x 20mm).

Item ID #69.

Last Updated: 19th July, 2018

Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

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