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Comparison of Laser Ablation and Dried Solution Aerosol as Sampling Systems in Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Volume 58, Number 12 (Dec. 2004) Page 1481-1487

Coedo, A.G.; Padilla, I.; Dorado, M.T.

This paper describes a study designed to determine the possibility of using a dried aerosol solution for calibration in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The relative sensitivities of tested materials mobilized by laser ablation and by aqueous nebulization were established, and the experimentally determined relative sensitivity factors (RSFs) were used in conjunction with aqueous calibration for the analysis of solid steel samples. To such a purpose a set of CRM carbon steel samples (SS-451/1 to SS-460/1) were sampled into an ICP-MS instrument by solution nebulization using a microconcentric nebulizer with membrane desolvating (D-MCN) and by laser ablation (LA). Both systems were applied with the same ICP-MS operating parameters and the analyte signals were compared. The RSF (desolvated aerosol response/ablated solid response) values were close to 1 for the analytes Cr, Ni, Co, V, and W, about 1.3 for Mo, and 1.7 for As, P, and Mn. Complementary tests were carried out using CRM SS-455/1 as a solid standard for one-point calibration, applying LAMTRACE software for data reduction and quantification. The analytical results are in good agreement with the certified values in all cases, showing that the applicability of dried aerosol solutions is a good alternative calibration system for laser ablation sampling.