The performance of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) is dependent on the ion optic bias potentials. A discussion of the multielement optimization of the ICP-MS ion optics bias potentials using a Simplex algorithm is presented. Three objective functions were tested: a function developed by Leary; the combined ratio method (CRM); and the Euclidean distance from multicriteria target vector optimization. Both the Leary and the target vector optimization's performances were comparable, whereas the CRM optimizations placed an emphasis on obtaining similar signal intensities. Experiments determined that an initial Simplex starting size of 20% of the parameter space was optimal. A method for the selection of an appropriate target vector by predicting analyte signal intensity was also investigated. Signal intensities for all elements could be predicted with an acceptable margin of error (10- 30% ), provided that the same conditions were used. Comparisons of optimizations using a single mid-mass element vs. multielement optimizations revealed that the multielement approach is only slightly better. If the analyst wished to optimize lens settings to favor heavy or light elements, then an average mass was better than a mid-mass optimization.
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