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ICP-MS & XRF: Sample Requirements

Solution ICP-MS

Guide for samples submitted for cation analysis by ICP:

  • The sample matrix, such as type of acid/base, as well as its concentration, should be stipulated when submitting samples in order to prepare a matching calibration for accurate analysis. Please note: Samples may not contain any HF. Its presence (even at 0.01%) will destroy the glass parts of the ICP, and replacement will be for the account of the client (~ R25 000).
  • Important: use good quality acids, check specifications. Most of the cheaper acids contain low ppm or high ppb levels of trace elements, which will mask sample values if added in concentrated form during digestion
  • Please include the following blanks, if possible: a blank of the solution in which your samples are made up, a preparation blank that went through all the steps of sample prep, but without any sample.
  • Samples must be filtered, or centrifuged and decanted. Samples containing suspended material will not be analysed. Please note that filter paper may introduce contaminants such as Ca, as well as many trace elements – include a filter blank as well.
  • Select the correct container for sample storage/collection/preparation: - never use glass if trace elements are to be analysed: Polyprop or LDPE is the most suitable – cheap and clean.
Polyprop or LDPE is the most suitable – cheap and clean Data is quantified with calibration solutions prepared from NIST traceable standards, and quality control procedures according to US EPA guidelines are followed to ensure accuracy of data.

X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF)

Sample requirements (Milled):

  • Major elements: 5 g
  • Trace elements:100 g

Sample Submission (click here)