Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for Nanomaterial Analysis

Authored by: Francisco Laborda , Eduardo Bolea , Maria S. Jimenez

21 Century Nanoscience – A Handbook

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815384731
eBook ISBN: 9780429340420
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is an atomic spectrometry technique utilized for multi-element determinations and isotopic analysis with limits of detection in the part-per-trillion levels for most elements. Currently, ICP-MS is the most common technique for the identification and quantification of inorganic engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). Conventional ICP-MS is an ensemble technique, just sensitive to the element/s present in ENMs, so no other information related to them (e.g. size, shape, aggregation) can be obtained, limiting its applications to the chemical characterization of pristine ENMs by bulk elemental analysis and the determination of total element mass concentrations in a variety of samples containing ENMs. The scope of applications can be extended by using ICP-MS in combination with different sample preparation methods for selective determination of ENM or as online element-specific detector coupled to continuous separation techniques (field flow fractionation, hydrodynamic chromatography, capillary electrophoresis), for obtaining information according to size. Alternatively, ICP-MS can be used as a counting technique when running in single particle mode (SP-ICP-MS), providing information about size and number concentration of the ENMs and improving the capability detection of the technique. Analytical approaches based on the combination of these ICP-MS methodologies allow to obtain detailed information about inorganic nanomaterials, both for their characterization as well as for their detection and quantification in complex samples.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.