Inductively coupled plasma: fundamental particle investigations with laser ablation and applications in magnetic sector mass spectrometry
Particle size effects and elemental fractionation in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) are investigated with nanosecond and femtosecond laser ablation, differential mobility analysis, and magnetic sector ICP-MS. Laser pulse width was found to have a significant influence on the LA particle size distribution and the elemental composition of the aerosol and thus fractionation. Emission from individual particles from solution nebulization, glass, and a pressed powder pellet are observed with high speed digital photography. The presence of intact particles in an ICP is shown to be a likely source of fractionation. A technique for the online detection of stimulated elemental release from neural tissue using magnetic sector ICP-MS is described. Detection limits of 1 mug L-1 or better were found for P, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn in a 60 muL injection in a physiological saline matrix.