Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is an elemental analysis technology capable of detecting most of the periodic table of elements at milligram to nanogram levels per liter. It is used in a variety of industries including, but not limited to, environmental monitoring, geochemical analysis, metallurgy, pharmaceutical analysis, and clinical research.


What is inductively coupled plasma?

What is inductively coupled plasma?

The Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) is an ionization source that fully decomposes a sample into its constituent elements and transforms those elements into ions. It is typically composed of argon gas, and energy is "coupled" to it using an induction coil to form the plasma. 


ICP-MS trace metals analysis workflow

ICP-MS systems are powerful analytical instruments; to obtain the best quality of data from these instruments, sample preparation and introduction methods must be performed with care. Also, data acquisition and processing should be thoroughly scrutinized.

In this section, you will:

  • Learn which sample types can be analyzed by ICP-MS and what sample preparation and introduction conditions must be considered
  • Know how ICP-MS data are generated inside the mass analyzer, prior to being collected for analysis
  • Recognize and correct for factors that interfere with accurate ICP-MS data analysis
  • Understand the systems and technology that drive ICP-MS systems

ICP-MS information subtopics

ICP-MS Sample Preparation

Learn how different sample types are prepared for analysis, and how instrument drift and background are accounted for during ICP-MS.

ICP-MS Data Analysis

Raw ICP-MS data are often calibrated to account for interferences and instrument drift. Understand which techniques, including spiking and standard additions, are used to calibrate data when plotting sample concentration curves.

ICP-MS Systems and Technologies

Find out which ICP-MS system is ideal for your lab by understanding how mass analyzers and magnetic sectors differ, how sample interference is filtered out, and how single ions are detected following selection.


Videos and webinars


Spectroscopy Elemental & Isotope Analysis Resource Library

Learn how elements and their isotopes provide information about sample origin and identity in our library of applications notes, scientific posters, webinars, and more.