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Fundamental ICP-MS class room course
1 Day Course

This one-day course introduces delegates to the fundamental concepts and principles associated with ICP-MS. Topics covered allow the ICP-MS user to gain a useful insight into the operating principles of the instrument.

  • We limit numbers to 20 per course so that each delegate gets the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in tutorial exercises
  • As this course is delivered on-site we can design the course material to suit your specific training needs
  • Customisable written assessments are available if required

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off site Fundamental ICP-MS
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A comprehensive one day course designed to increase expertise and optimise results for all users of ICP-MS.

Understanding sample introduction and optimisation of instrument performance are important subject areas within this one-day course. Interactive Training sessions and tutorial exercises are used to reinforce key learning points.

Who is this course for

This course is ideally tailored towards either the experienced user who is looking for a refresher course, or towards a new user who is looking for an introduction to the analytical technique.

Previous knowledge

Background knowledge of ICP-OES or Mass Spectrometry may be useful but not necessary, as all the essentials are covered in the course. Previous experience using ICP-MS equipment can be beneficial.

What you will learn

  • How the ICP source fragments in a different way to other MS techniques, offering a complementary view of the chemicals being analysed
  • Why ICP-MS is particularly suitable for isotope ratio studies
  • How ICP-MS can be used for the analysis of ultra-trace metal elements (0.0005-100ppb)
  • Application of ICP-MS to non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P)

Introduction to IPC/MS

  • What can ICP-MS do?
  • Schematic design

Solid Samples

  • Ablation methods

Inductively Coupled Plasmas

  • Plasma formation
  • Generators
  • Load coils
  • Torches
  • Plasma configuration


The Mass Spectrometer

  • The vacuum and interface systems
  • Ion lenses
  • Photon stops
  • Off-Axis deflection
  • Space Charge effect

Gaseous Sample Introduction

  • Gaseous samples
  • Hydride generation

Quadrupole Mass Analysers

  • Quadrupole theory
  • Scanning/Selected Ion Monitoring
  • Tuning and calibration/Plasma parameters

Liquid Sample Introduction

  • The cross-flow nebuliser
  • The concentric nebuliser
  • The Babington nebuliser
  • Spray chambers


  • Continuous Dynode Electron Multiplier
  • Discrete Dynode Electron Multiplier
  • The Faraday Cup

Training Calendar

Click on a title below to download a detailed course description or click a date and book your course.

Can't find a suitable training course? Call 01357 522 961 or email us.

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Quadrupole Mass Analysers- Mass Gain and Offset

Instrumentally, the DC voltage (U) and RF voltage (V), are altered according to a linear relationship which is often referred to as the ‘SCAN’ line or ‘SCAN’ function. The mode of operation for a mass analyser in which the voltages U and V are ramped linearly is often referred to as SCAN mode.

The slope of the SCAN function (i.e. the rate of change of U against V) is often referred as the quadrupole GAIN. The intersection of the scan line with the U axis (i.e. the magnitude of the initial DC voltage applied) is the quadrupole OFFSET.

The stability diagrams for THREE ions of mass m 1, m 2 and m 3 are shown opposite and it can be seen that very often the stability regions of ions overlap. To ensure that ions of only one selected m/z value are transmitted, the parameters U, V (at certain selected ω) must be chosen so that the line representing U/V (or a/q) passes close to the apex of region A but still lies within the stable region. If the slope of the line is increased so that it misses the apex of the stability region, no ions of that m/z value will be transmitted. For a given quadrupole assembly, ro and ω are fixed and it is electronically more straightforward to manipulate the voltages U and V. Therefore to transmit ions of subsequently higher unit mass, the voltages U and V are increased (m/z is inversely proportional to both a and q), whilst the ratio U/V (or a/q) is fixed (i.e. the slope of the line is constant ).

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