Simultaneous measurement of all isotopes enables quantitative determination of the multi-elemental composition of complex single particles.
Olga Borovinskaya, Steffi Boehme
TOFWERK, RIKILT, The Netherlands
Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (sp-ICP- MS) has established itself as a robust and sensitive method for the measurement of nanoparticle size and number concentration at environmentally relevant levels. A single particle transmitted into an ICP- mass spectrometer generates a ~1 ms pulse of ion signal (e.g., Figure a). Most ICP- mass spectrometers use sequential mass analyzers that can measure only one or two isotopes during this rapid single-particle detection event. This is insufficient for the detection of complex multi-element particles, which represent a substantial portion of manufactured nanomaterials used as additives in consumer products or which are formed by chemical modifications of pristine single-element particles after they have entered the natural environment.
The TOFWERK icpTOF simultaneously measures all isotopes, enabling determination of the complete chemical composition of single nanoparticles. In a previous application note (Multi-element Detection of Nanoparticles with icpTOF, 2016), we demonstrated the ability of the icpTOF to record all elements in single particles and compared multi-element icpTOF data to what can be recorded with modern sequential mass analyzers. Here, we show that the elemental composition of single steel nanoparticles in a polydisperse population can be quantified based on a simple multi-element solution calibration.