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Inductivity Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) is used to measure a wide range of sample types for analytes at concentrations from sub ppb to %.  The ability of an instrument to be able to measure samples of different types and provide accurate results. Low detection limits should be the most influential factors when selecting an instrument or assessing a method during development and its validation.

Sensitivity is often regarded as a defining criterion for analytical instrumentation. It is a figure of merit that easily allows comparison between methods, techniques and instruments.

Looking at these numbers as a purely numerical valve is a good starting point as it indicates whether the instrument will meet your needs of analysis now and in the future.

Some of the most important physical components of an ICP-OES that contribute to the sensitivity include the plasma, the optics and detector.  If a plasma is viewed along the axis (axial view) it will have a long path length and therefore produce higher light emissions from the sample compare with a radial view plasma.  A high transmission optical system is critical as it will transmit the maximum amount of light to the detector.  The detector must be efficient at collecting photons for signal detection.  The new Thermo ScientificTM iCAPTM PRO Series ICP-OES optimizes all of these key items in order to maximize the sensitivity of the instrument.  The iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES includes:

  • a vertical duo torch which enables axial viewing (even with high matrix samples).

  • optimized optics with an enhanced UV mode (eUV) which improves sensitivity for elements that emit light below 240nm.

  • a state-of-the-art Charge Injection Device (CID) detector effectively collects even the smallest number of photons with high signal-to-noise ratio.

These, in combination, provide the ultimate in sensitivity across the wavelength range of the instrument. The iCAPTM PRO Series ICP-OES provides the ultimate in ICP-OES sensitivity. For example, when measuring aluminum at 167.079nm, the iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES has the potential to reach a detection limit as low as 0.027 ppb. This sensitivity provides the capability to meet even the toughest regulated methods for ICP-OES.

For many analysts, pushing an ICP-OES to achieve lower and lower sensitivity is not a direct requirement for their analysis. For example, when measuring alloys, which may contain major analytes at concentrations of 10s, 100s, or even 1000s of ppm, sensitivity is not an issue. However, the impact of a sensitive instrument on the overall analysis should be considered. By having an ICP-OES with high sensitivity such as the iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES, shorter measurement time can be used whilst achieving the required sensitivity. This not only increases the sample throughput of an instrument but also reduces the gas consumption per sample and the overall cost of analysis. High sensitivity in ICP-OES may translate in achieving better detection limits at no compromise to the exposure time or reduce sample turnover times at no expense of detection limits. The choice is yours!

Using the new iCAP PRO ICP-OES, a new level of performance, speed and robustness is right at your hands. Please visit this website to find out more.