ICP Analysis

ICP-AES & ICP-MS Methods

ICP OES AnalysisICP Analysis, also called ICP Testing, is performed to identify and measure a range of chemical elements necessary for the analysis of metal samples. ICP-AES Analysis and ICP-MS Analysis services are offered by Laboratory Testing Inc.

Both of these ICP test methods can be performed on solid or liquid samples. They calculate quantitative and qualitative data that can be included in an ICP test report.

Latest Technology for Major, Minor and Trace Element Analysis

LTI offers ICP metal analysis services and can determine up to 70 elements using the latest technology in spectrometers at our United States facility in the Philadelphia, PA area. Trace unknowns can be detected and identified. In addition, ICP analysis can reveal several non-metals.

ICP AES Analysis
ICP Mass SpectrometryInductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES)  or ICP Atomic Emission Spectroscopy is a technique that can determine concentrations of trace to major elements and can detect most elements in the periodic table. Reliable results can be obtained for about 70 elements with detection limits in the parts per billion range.

ICP MS Analysis
Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) or ICP Mass Spectrometry is highly sensitive and capable of multi-element trace analysis and ultra trace analysis, often at the parts-per-trillion level. Testing for trace elements can be performed on a range of materials from super alloys to high purity materials.

Our new ICP instrument, a Spectro Arcos, is capable of running in both the EOP (end on plasma) and the SOP (side on plasma) configurations. This gives us more flexibility in method selection, allowing us to minimize interference and optimize sensitivity.

Test Methods/Specifications

  • ASTM E1613
  • MIL Specifications

Elements Analyzed During an ICP Test Scan

Aluminum Antimony Arsenic Barium Beryllium Boron Cadmium
Calcium Cerium Cesium Chromium Cobalt Copper Dysprosium
Erbium Europium Gadolinium Gallium Germanium Gold Hafnium
Holmium Indium Iridium Iron Lanthanum Lead Lithium
Lutetium Magnesium Manganese Mercury Molybdenum Neodymium Nickel
Niobium Osmium Palladium Phosphorus Platinum Polonium Potassium
Praseodymium Rhenium Rhodium Rubidium Ruthenium Samarium Scandium
Selenium Silicon Silver Sodium Strontium Sulfur Tantalum
Technetium Tellurium Thallium Thorium Thulium Tin Titanium
Tungsten Uranium Vanadium Ytterbium Yttrium Zinc Zirconium

The only elements which cannot be measured by ICP methods are C, H, O, N and the halogens.

Contact our team to discuss your sample and testing requirements. To learn more about the sample size required for your ICP test, read our guidelines.

The ICP Test Processes

Both types of ICP analysis is performed at LTI with computer-controlled spectrometers. Computer software controls and monitors the instrument functions and also processes, stores and outputs the results of the ICP test as it is performed. The spectrometers use Charge Coupled Device (CCD) technology which allows the instruments to measure the broad spectrum of elements.

ICP metal analysis can be performed on solid and liquid samples, but a solid sample must be converted to liquid form before testing by dissolving the sample in a solvent (typically acid) to produce a solution. The sample solution is introduced into the ICP as a fine aerosol of droplets. The aerosol is produced by a nebulizer which aspirates the sample with high velocity argon to form a fine mist.

The aerosol then passes into a spray chamber where larger droplets are removed. Droplets small enough to be vaporized in the plasma torch pass into the torch body, where the aerosol is mixed with more argon gas. ICP stands for Inductively Coupled Plasma, which is an excitation source generated by directing the energy of a radio frequency generator into a suitable gas. A coupling coil is used to transmit radio frequency to the heated argon gas, producing an argon plasma located in the torch. The hot plasma dries any remaining solvent and causes sample atomization.

The ICP-AES spectrometer detects the atomic emissions produced as light. With ICP Mass Spectrometry, the process uses ionization. The resulting mass of the ions indicates the elements present in the sample.

LTI Capabilities

  • ICP-MS Analysis and ICP-AES Analysis
  • Detection of chemical elements
  • Quantitative elemental composition
  • Trace analysis

In addition to ICP analysis, LTI offers a broad range of analytical chemistry services for your samples, specifications and information requirements.

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“The Parker Steel management team is very impressed and satisfied with both the service and the professionalism of Laboratory Testing Inc. You were able to provide prompt, knowledgeable service that allowed us to get through a difficult situation and ship a very important order. Thanks for all your help and we will be in touch for future testing opportunities.”

Todd Meyer,
Quality & Operations Mgr.


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