The laboratory already has a wide scope of accreditation for trace metals in water, soil, food and biological matrices, and the new instrument will benefit clients by enabling faster analysis and more precise results.
Staff have undertaken a full range of validation on the instrument - an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) Agilent 7900. Senior laboratory technician Matt Freeman says he has been impressed by the vastly improved signal to noise compared to the last generation instrument. Matt says this will lead to much greater sensitivity and the ability to detect even lower levels of trace metals in samples.
The instrument includes an ISIS3 Integrated Sample Introduction System for improved sample uptake times and ultra-high matrix introduction (UHMI) technology to dilute difficult matrices like seawater and strong acid digests on-line using argon gas. There is exceptional sensitivity and with the ISIS3 and UHMI, Matt has seen sample rates improve from about six minutes to approximately two and a half minutes per sample.
Team Leader Geoff Firns says that this reduces manual handling and the chances of contamination at trace levels.
“We optioned in H2 reaction gas which improves detection limits for the difficult elements like arsenic and selenium,” Geoff explained.
“These features will translate into benefits for our customers such as more precise results and the ability to process samples faster. It will be especially effective with difficult samples as it is able to deal with high salt levels and can address interferences. “
One of the first priorities for the instrument has been the analysis of seawater samples. Very salty samples are a challenge for ICP-MS, but the new instrument has the smarts to minimise contamination and maximise sensitivity.
The new instrument will bolster our capability for isotope ratio work for lead contamination, laser ablation for forensic applications and provenance studies of food products.
For more information contact ChemCentre’s Scientific Services Division at firstname.lastname@example.org and highlight your enquiry in the subject line as trace metals analysis.