ICP-OES, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Major and Trace Elemental Analysis

Using ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry), we can analyze a wide range of inorganic or organic sample types for more than 70 different elements at major, minor or trace levels [percent to sub part-per-million (ppm) levels]. This technique is most commonly used to analyze liquids so solid samples must be digested or otherwise solubilized prior to analysis. The method of digestion varies by sample type but the most common methods include acid digestion, microwave bomb digestion, and fusion followed by dissolution. We ask for 2-5 grams of a solid sample or 100mL of a liquid sample – please do not send more than we need since we will have to dispose of or return the excess sample.

ICP is most commonly used for quantitative analysis (typical accuracy of ±1% relative) and is a powerful technique for product characterization or to determine whether a product meets a given specification. Please specify which elements you want to have analyzed and the approximate concentration (i.e., percent level vs. ppm level). Quantitative analysis is priced on a “per element analyzed” basis.

Full Elemental Survey

VHG Labs can also report a full survey of all the elements determinable by ICP-OES. This is a semiquantitative analysis with ± 20% relative accuracy, however for most analyses this is quite acceptable accuracy for sample characterization. Common applications include the certification of the purity of a material (with respect to total metallic impurities), the comparison of similar materials to identify differences in elemental composition or the identification of an unknown material, and product failure analysis. There is a standard “per sample” price for semiquantitative analyses. Our “Semi Quant” report includes concentrations from 10ppm to percent levels and is useful for materials up to 99.99% pure. Our “Ultra Semi Quant” survey reports concentrations from 1ppm to percent levels and is useful for 99.999% pure materials. When sending samples for a full survey, please provide as much information as possible about the sample matrix (i.e., any major constituents present).

Sample Submission Form