ICP provides details of the elements contained within a sample. It is used to determine trace levels of metals and other elements of interest in a sample of test material. Samples must be able to be solvated. Its main advantage over alternative techniques is the low level of background readings from the instrument itself.
ICP-OES is suitable for the trace analysis of metal elements (0.0002-1000ppm) and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). The OES instrument can measure the relative amounts of up to 60 elements per single sample run in less than one minute.
ICP-MS. The ICP source fragments chemicals in a different way to other MS techniques, making ICP-MS particularly suitable for isotope ratio studies. It is suitable for the ultra trace analysis of metal elements (0.0005-100ppb), and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). The technique is sensitive to the method of sample preparation.
LC-ICP-MS is suitable for speciated metal analysis and compounds with metals bound that are separable by LC techniques (e.g. metal binding in proteins).