The icpTOF quantitatively detects ALL isotopes in single nanoparticles with high sensitivity and temporal resolution and offers multiple approaches for interference removal.
Olga Borovinskaya, Martin Tanner
Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) operated in single particle (sp) mode can be used as a rapid particle screening tool at low and environmentally relevant concentrations (ng/kg-μg/kg). Sp-ICP-MS performed with quadrupoles and sector-field instruments provides quantitative information about the mass, size and number concentration of particles composed of a single metal or metal oxide.
An increasing number of multi-element nanoparticles (alloy, core-shell structures) are being manufactured nowadays. Multi-element particle detection is necessary to trace manufactured nanoparticles in the high background of natural particles. However, this cannot be realized by sequential MS such as quadrupole and sector-field.
The icpTOF provides simultaneous detection of all isotopes and records a unique mass spectrum every 30 μs, making it an ideal tool for multi-element detection and quantification of nanoparticles in unknown or poorly characterized samples. Moreover, it uniquely combines high mass resolution with collision- and reaction-cell technology (Q-cell), enabling more efficient resolution of analytes from interferences (e.g. 56Fe).
Nanosteel nanoparticles composed of Fe, Cr, Ni, Mo were diluted with milliQ water and measured with the icpTOF using H2 in the Q-cell at 3 ml/min to remove ArO interference on 56Fe.