The effect of plasma operating parameters on analyte signals in inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
Utilizing the SCIEX ICP-MS an extensive study of the effects that plasma operating parameters have on analyte ion signals in ICP-MS has been carried out. Parameters studied included aerosol flow rate (nebulizer pressure), auxiliary flow rate, power and sampling depth (sampling position from the load coil). The two key parameters are aerosol flow rate (nebulizer pressure) and power. Elements can be grouped into characteristic behaviour patterns based on the overall dependence of their ion count signal on these two parameters. The nebulizer pressure-power behavior patterns allow a sensible selection of compromise operating conditions and significantly clarify single parameter observations which often indicate confusing trends in behavior. In addition to characterizing analyte ion signals the parameter behavior plots have also been used to study oxide species and plus two ions in ICP-MS. While aerosol flow rate and power appear to be the key ICP parameters in ICP-MS, ion signals are dependent on sampling depth and auxiliary flow rate and some data are also presented illustrating the signal dependence on these two parameters.