Overcoming Simple and Complex Matrix Interferences in Environmental Samples by QQQ-ICP-MS

Handling Interferences in Complex Matrices for Metals, Nutrients, and COD
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Jones, M. Kelinske
Agilent Technologies, Inc., 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA, 95051, United States

Contact Information: craig_jones@agilent.com; (800) 227-9770


The analysis of environmental samples for metals in various matrices is widely utilized at present with single quad ICP-MS systems. The interference removal using cell technology allows for more precise data than non-cell systems. The introduction of QQQ-ICP-MS expands these types of analyses by using controlled collisional and reaction chemistries to more efficiently reduce, or in some cases eliminate, matrix interferences that are formed from either the sample itself and within the plasma ion source. QQQ-ICP-MS also introduces the ability to analyze elements that are difficult with single quad systems, such as S, P, & Si. Using controlled reaction chemistries in the cell allows for quantification of elements whose isotopes are overlapped with interferences created by the sample matrix and by using either mass shift on the associated interference or the analyte itself, expands the ability of ICP-MS for multiple sample matrices and better separation for isotopic confirmation and determination. In addition, the abundance sensitivity of QQQ-ICPMS resolves those elements that were previously difficult due to overlap from adjacent elemental peaks, such as boron in a carbon/organic matrix or manganese in a high iron matrix. QQQ-ICP-MS is likely the future of environmental analysis by allowing a more complete suite of analytes that currently do not meet the desired detection limits, or suffer from background interferences that are not easily resolved with present single quad ICP-MS systems.