ICP-MS Trace Element Analysis Facility

Oxford’s Department of Earth Sciences Trace Element Research Facility provides an inorganic analytical service for accurate and precise measurements of many trace-level elements.

The facility contains two ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometer) instruments; a high performance quadrupole type that can routinely measure large batches of samples for a wide selection of trace elements, plus a high resolution magnetic sector type that is able to couple high sensitivity performance for ultra-trace concentration detection with high resolution power for interference-free analysis. Both instruments have a wide linear working range that spans up to nine orders of magnitude and have unrivalled detection capabilities.

The facility provides a service to measure many sample types, including geological, archaeological, biological, plant and chemical matrices. Samples that contain significantly high matrix loadings may require extra preparation using a chemical digestion technique. We can offer in-house digestion by a variety of digestion systems. Please see Trace Metal Concentration & High Precisions Isotope Analysis for more details.

Thermo Element 2: Magnetic Sector ICP-MS


  •  High resolution capability, allowing interference-free measurement of most elements in the periodic table
  • Linear working range from ug/g  levels down to sub pg/g  levels
  • Excellent detection capability for elements such as the rare earth elements, uranium and thorium
  • High accuracy measurements for analyses of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, calcium, arsenic, phosphorus, sulphur and potassium
  • Various sample introduction systems to suit many sample types and analytical requirements
  • Capable of measuring up to 80 samples per day

Perkin Elmer Elan 6100DRC: Quadrupole ICP-MS

Perkin Elmer Elan Table

  • Extremely rapid trace element scanning capabilities (100ms for a full mass scan)
  • Linear working range from ug/g levels down to sub ng/g levels
  • Robust analytical set-up for many trace elements
  • Capable of measuring up to 120 samples per day

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