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Analytical and Technical Services
Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

The 193nm Teledyne CETAC Analyte Excite Excimer Laser Ablation System is capable of introducing almost any type of solid sample into the iCAP™ TQ ICP-MS. It is especially applicable to in-situ analyses of samples requiring determination of spatial distribution of elements within a sample. Laser ablation can also be useful for samples which are difficult to digest. The Excite is capable of sampling rasters, spots, lines, and even curves on a sample. The system may be controlled via the on-board computer or via the iCAP™ TQ computer. Data output can be used in conjunction with third party imaging software to generate elemental distribution maps.

Materials studied at our facility are predominantly otoliths, but also have included bird feathers, seashells, steel, circuit boards, clay particles, plant stems and leaves, diamonds, insect guts and cellulose. We have some NIST/certified standards available for use: 614, 612, and 610 glasses, MAPS, MACS, steels, spinach, and tomato leaf powders/pellets. Samples are typically mounted on petrographic slides (see otolith example) but other configurations are possible. Customers are encouraged to come in to be trained to set up their own ablation patterns/experiments with the Excite software. The training includes learning to initiate measurements with the iCAP™ TQ. It is possible to mail in samples for analysis by ATS personnel. This requires good communication and careful instructions (power point works well) as to how to conduct the ablation.

Sample Submissions

Email to discuss LA-ICP-MS needs/projects. Most solid samples require little to no sample preparation. Please note that we are not able to prepare samples such as otoliths. These must be cleaned, embedded, sectioned, and polished ahead of time.

Rate Schedule

Our current rates for ICP analysis are available here. Contact Deb Driscoll at or 315-470-4844 for information.