The use of a separation step, such as liquid chromatography, prior to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has become a common tool for highly selective and sensitive analyses. This type of coupling has several benefits including the ability to perform speciation analysis or to remove isobaric interferences. Several limitations of conventional instruments result from the necessity to scan or pulse the mass spectrometer to obtain a complete mass spectrum. When the instrument is operated in such a non-continuous manner, duty cycle is reduced, resulting in poorer absolute limits of detection. Additionally, with scanning instruments, spectral skew can be introduced into the measurement, limiting quantitation accuracy. To address these shortcomings, a high-performance liquid chromatograph has been coupled to an ICP-MS capable of continuous sample introduction and simultaneous multimass detection. These features have been realized with a novel detector array, the focal plane camera. Instrument performance has been tested for both speciation analysis and for the elimination of isobaric interferences. Absolute limits of detection in the sub picogram to tens of picograms regime are obtainable, while the added mass dimension introduced by simultaneous detection dramatically increases chromatographic peak capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry