Your quarterly digest on trace elemental analysis
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Trace Elemental Matters – your quarterly digest on trace elemental analysis
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Trace Elemental Matters | June-July 2022 Edition
Welcome back to Trace Elemental Matters! In this edition, supplement your study on ICP-OES with an educational webinar, as well as application notes on the analysis of lithium and other elements in brine solutions and hydride-forming elements using ICP-OES.
Do you have technology- or application-related questions? Ask Laila and get your answers! What’s more, learn handy tips on calibration linearity in ICP-OES analyses and how fellow users are making a difference in their laboratories with the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ Pro Series ICP-OES.
Need a short break? Challenge yourself to a sequence game and stand a chance to win a special gift!
Enjoy reading this edition! 
Andrew Gaal
Trace Elemental Analysis
Product Specialist
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Product Spotlight
Thermo Scientific iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES
Trace elemental analysis for the most challenging samples – the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ PRO Series ICP-OES combines powerful multi-element capability with flexibility so your lab is ready for any challenge.
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Ask Laila
Laila Olhaye
Trace Elemental Analysis
Application Specialist
You asked: What is the role of internal standard in ICP-MS?
Laila’s answer: An internal standard in ICP-MS is an element that is added in a constant concentration to the blank, calibration standards, QC and samples. The purpose of the internal standard is to behave similarly to the analyte but to provide a signal that can be distinguished from that of the analyte. Selection of internal standard is based on choosing an element that is not present in your sample and with similar mass and chemical ionization potential to the analyte and should not cause interference. Ideally, any factor that affects the analyte signal will also affect the signal of the internal standard to the same degree. The internal standard can then be used by plotting the ratio of the analyte signal to the internal standard signal as a function of the analyte concentration of the standards. This is done to correct for the changes in instrument operating conditions and sample-specific matrix effects which may enhance or suppress the analyte signal. An internal standard is introduced into the diluent used for sample preparation or added via a T-piece in the sample introduction system at concentration between 10-100ppb depending on the concentration range.

Have questions on trace elemental analysis (TEA) technology or applications? Our resident TEA Expert, Laila will be happy to answer them in the next issue. What’s more? If your question gets selected, you will win an exclusive mystery gift.*
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Customer Insights
In this case study, learn how the iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES helped Eurofins EAG Laboratories overcome challenges of ICP-OES material testing, such as requirements of extensive trainings for new technicians and the need for sensitivity and linear dynamic range.
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Did You Know?
In ICP-OES analysis, we need to make sure our calibrations are as linear as possible to achieve the highest quality data, and there are a few things we can do to ensure that they are.
First, let’s have a look at why calibrations might not be linear. Essentially if the concentration of a particular analyte is too high then self-absorption occurs, resulting in a curved calibration as the higher standards are under-recovered.
Tips: In order to make the same calibration range linear, we need to de-sensitise the analysis and we can do this by (a) choosing a less sensitive wavelength of that element, (b) selecting more robust instrument parameters, or (c) using radial viewing mode if previously axial mode was chosen.
Curved calibrations can also result from matrix effects caused by high concentrations of analytes in the top standards.
Tips: This can be addressed with the use of internal standards. It is a good idea to set a limit for the R value (calibration coefficient – a measure of the linearity of the calibration), to ensure data is always of the highest quality. If linearity can still not be achieved then the calibration range needs to be reduced to where it is linear and the samples diluted accordingly.
Interesting Reads
Determination of lithium and other elements in brine solutions using ICP-OES

The rapidly increasing demand for Li-ion batteries has led to a critical need for exploration and development of additional natural resources of lithium as well as other commonly used elements in battery manufacturing, such as manganese, nickel, and cobalt.
This application note presents a comprehensive analytical method developed and tested for the analysis of brine solutions, using the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ PRO XP ICP-OES Duo instrument, for laboratories working in the lithium extraction area or otherwise involved in measuring concentrated salt solutions such as brine.
Download application note
Analysis of hydride-forming elements using ICP-OES
Hydride-forming elements tend to emit towards the UV end of the spectrum. The use of a hydride generation sample introduction system has been shown to improve sensitivity when analyzing hydride-forming elements by ICP-OES.
This study demonstrates the performance of the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ PRO Series ICP-OES equipped with two different hydride generation sample introduction system.
Download application note
Featured Webinar/Webcast
ICP-OES Educational Webinar
Learn how you can extract the full potential of ICP-OES instrumentations to meet regulatory, compliance and performance requirements in the environmental, precious metals as well as wear metals and lubricants markets.
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Reader's Exclusive
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