Abstract

The use of a neon inductively coupled plasma (Ne ICP) in place of an argon inductively coupled plasma (Ar ICP) for laser ablation microprobe-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LAM-ICP-MS) is demonstrated. Gas blank mass spectra were obtained comparing the signals obtained with an Ar ICP with the Ne ICP. Sensitivity (signal/concentration) data were also obtained for a number of analytes using solid reference materials. The sensitivity data is complicated by significant changes in optimum Ne ICP parameters (especially nebulizer gas flow) for analytes of varying mass. The sensitivity of the Ne ICP is in general also lower than that obtained for the Ar ICP. The potential for the Ne ICP to reduce the formation of argides, both in the background and from sample induced interferences, is demonstrated. Clearly shown is the reduction of the interferences of <sup>63</sup>Cu<sup>40</sup>Ar and <sup>65</sup>Cu<sup>40</sup>Ar on <sup>103</sup>Rh and <sup>105</sup>Pd in a Cu<sub>2</sub>S sample, as well as the reduction of the interferences of <sup>58</sup>Ni<sup>40</sup>Ar and <sup>60</sup>Ni<sup>40</sup>Ar on <sup>98</sup>Ru and <sup>100</sup>Ru in a NiS sample.

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