Laser ablation-ICP-MS

Mass-spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma ion source is widely applied for the determination of elemental composition and isotope ratios of liquid and solid samples in geological, chemical, semiconductor and other technical sciences. It is a very flexible technique allowing to analyse the concentration of most elements of the periodic table down to a (sub)ppt-level in liquid samples and down to a (sub)ppb level in solid samples. It also allows for a high sample throughput and usually requires little sample preparation compared to the alternative techniques, such as TIMS or SIMS.

For a more detail overview of the ICP-MS technique, please check the following pdf file



Our laboratory is equipped with two ICP-MS facilities:

Quadrupole spectrometer Agilent 7700

The quadrupole spectrometer Agilent 7700 is interfaced to a NewWave UP-193 ArF excimer ablation system (solid samples) or used alone (liquid samples)  It is used in applications that do not require the lowest possible detection limit. These applications include the laser ablation analysis of lithium tetraborate glass discs and minerals, as well as the analysis of a wide variety of natural solutions and dissolved solid samples (mine tails, natural and underground waters, carbonates).


Sector-field spectrometer Element XR

The sector-field spectrometer Element XR is interfaced to an ASI (Australian Scientific Instruments) RESOlution 193 ArF excimer ablation system with an S155 two-volume ablation cell  (solid samples) or used alone (liquid samples). It is used for the analysis of ultra-low element concentrations in minerals like olivine, garnet, orthopyroxene, mica and feldspars, and particularly for the U-Pb dating of zircons and titanite. It is also sporadically used for the analysis of low element concentrations in solutions.


The lab in images




Lab: 1207
Tel: +41 21 692 44 57

Lab responsible:

Prof. Othmar Müntener

Contact person:

Dr. Alexey Ulianov
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