ICP-MS Analysis

icp-ms analysis of chemical, metal, alloy and coatings

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry or ICP-MS is a highly-sensitive analytical technique that measures elemental concentrations. ICP-MS offers lower detection limits than ICP-AES with a minimum of matrix interferences.  

An ICP-MS combines a high-temperature ICP source with a mass spectrometer. The ICP source converts the atoms of the elements in the sample to ions. These ions are subsequently separated and detected by the mass spectrometer.

This highly-sensitive analytical tool can get you detection limits down to parts per billion level in solutions, and parts per million in solids. This is particularly useful in industries such as the aerospace industry where alloys must be analyzed for ppm level for low melting point impurities to prevent catastrophic engine failures.

IMR Test Labs in New York is now offering Nadcap and A2LA (ISO 17025) accredited ICP-MS analysis to a wide range of OEM's including Aerospace, Medical Device and Energy Manufacturers.

We can set up special pricing and delivery for high-volume samples or discuss your R&D project with you. We also provide overflow testing for times when your internal lab is backed up, or equipment is down. Let us run a correlation test for you to see how we measure up.

Learn more about how ICP-MS works below, or contact us for a quote or questions.

How ICP-MS Works

The plasma in ICP-MS acts as a desolvating and ionization source only. The solution passes through the plasma and becomes ionized and enters the quadrupole. The quadrupole separates the elements based on a mass-charge ratio and the intensity of the signal is detected on a CCD. 
Unlike ICP-OES, ICP-MS does not use spectral light but instead detects elements based on mass. 

ICP-MS for Medical Device Manufacturers

One of the primary uses in the Medical Device Industry for ICP-MS analysis is the testing of Hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings for chemical composition per ASTM F1185.

This requires that hydroxyapatite coatings must be tested for arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg) and Lead (Pb) at ppm levels.
IMR’s New York lab offers ICP-MS to analyze for arsenic, cadmium and lead down to the parts per billion level. (Mercury is analyzed by DMA – Direct Mercury Analyzer.)

Nickel Ion Release testing is another use for the ICP-MS in the Medical Device/Consumer Product Industry.  IMR performs nickel extraction testing to the European Union Directive 2004/96/EC. We can also look for low level elements in titanium, steel and custom alloys, as well as process solutions and chemical baths.

ICP-MS Analysis for the Aerospace Industry

ICP-MS analysis is critical in the aerospace industry in looking for low melting point alloys and trace elemental contaminants. We can analyze down to parts per billion and parts per trillion levels, depending on sample composition and size. Some of the specifications we’ve tested to include:

  • AMS 2280
  • AMS 5662
  • AMS 5663
  • AMS 5706
  • GE P29A-AG100
  • and more

Elements analyzed include

  • Antimony (Sb)
  • Arsenic (As)
  • Bismuth (Bi)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Gallium(Ga)
  • Germanium (Ge)
  • Gold (Au)
  • Indium (In)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Palladium (Pd)
  • Platinum (Pt)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Selenium (Se)
  • Silver (Ag)
  • Sodium (Na) 
  • Tellurium (Te)
  • Thallium (Tl)
  • Thorium (Th)
  • Tin (Sn)
  • Uranium (U)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • and more…

We can also look for low level elements in titanium, nickel, cobalt, steel and specialty alloys, as well as process solutions and chemical baths.