Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

ICP-MS can be applied to the determination of metals and metalloids in trace and ultra-trace concentrations in aqueous solutions or via coupling to laser ablation also directly in solid samples.


Sample preparation


Quadrupole-ICP-MS-spectrometer XSeries II (Thermo Scientific, Bremen, Germany) with collision cell technology.

  • For feeding of liquid samples an autosampler ASX 520 (Fa. Teledyne CETAC, Omaha, USA) is available.


  • For the direct analysis of solid samples a 213 nm Nd:YAG laser ablation system LSX-213 G2+ (Teledyne CETAC Technologies, Omaha, USA) can be coupled. It is equipped with a HelEx II Active 2-Volume Cell (Teledyne CETAC Technologies, Omaha, USA) that can be used either with a sample drawer with open geometry (9.4 x 9.0 x 1.5 cm) or with a customized drawer for cores (2.5 cm diameter) or slides/thin sections (max. 2.4 x 10.0 cm). A number of reference materials for both geological and biological sample materials is available. Further information on this is available upon request.  


Sample preparation

Liquid samples (a volume of at least 5 mL is required, if less volume is available please contact Dirk Merten in advance) must be free of particles (filtration < 0.45μm or suitable centrifugation).

Subsequent to filtration samples must be acidified to pH<2 using HNO3. Samples must delivered with a list of electrical conductivities prior to acidification. If samples originate from extractions or the digestion of solid samples the used weight of the solid samples and the volume, concentration and kind of extracting solutions have to be delivered.

Sample preparation of solid samples for the analysis by LA-ICP-MS depends on the particular sample material and has to be discussed in advance.


For liquid samples
and solid samples:

Dirk Merten (Head of lab)

Telephone: +49 3641 / 948616

For solid samples:

Neele van Laaten

Telephone: +49 3641 / 948669