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μ-dDIHEN: a new micro-flow liquid sample introduction system for direct injection nebulization in ICP-MS

Abstract : The mu-dDIHEN allows direct nebulization of small samples into the plasma at a flow rate down to 5 mu L min(-1). It is composed of a demountable direct injection high efficiency nebulizer (d-DIHEN), a flow injection analysis (FIA) valve and a gas displacement pump (GDP) connected to a mu-mass-flow meter delivering very stable liquid flow. The system was successfully tested with sample loops of 10 and 50 mu L and for liquid flow rates between 5 and 50 mu L min(-1) on two different inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments, a sector-field-ICP-MS (SF-ICP-MS) and a multi-collector-ICP-MS (MC-ICP-MS), and for three different applications: boron isotopic ratio measurement of geological samples, multi-element analyses of natural water samples and gold nanoparticle characterization by single particle ICPMS (spICP-MS). Signal sensitivity was increasing with the liquid uptake rate of the mu-dDIHEN (and the GDP gas flow rate), but stopped increasing above 30 mu L min(-1), due to bad spray quality and poor ionization under extra-wet conditions. We successfully measured boron isotopic ratios (delta B-11) for reference material solutions with B concentrations between 10 and 200 mu g L-1; the reproducibility of the measurements depending on both the B concentration of the sample and the uptake rate: B-10 signals below 20-30 mV (with 10(11) ohms amplifiers) gave 2SD reproducibility >= 0.5 parts per thousand (n = 5). The best measurement conditions were not necessarily with the lowest uptake rate but rather at 25 mu L min(-1), allowing for higher signals. We also tested transient versus continuous measurement modes for a series of natural samples (with 10 and 50 mu L sample loops). The two modes gave fully comparable results but the transient mode allows triplicate delta B-11 measurements and is recommended for very small samples (<= 100 mu L and B content of a few ng). For multi-element analyses by SF-ICP-MS, the limits of quantification (LOQs) of the majority of the trace and ultra-trace elements were lower (up to 15 times) with the mu-dDIHEN than with a concentric nebulizer and spray chamber, due to the much lower sample volume needed. Lastly, the mu-dDIHEN is highly promising for nanoparticle (NP) characterization by spICPMS. The first measurements for gold NPs of 40 nm certified size led to a transport efficiency of 85%.
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Contributor : Eva Fareau <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 5:23:13 PM
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Pascale Louvat, Mickaël Tharaud, Matthieu Buisson, Claire Rollion-Bard, Marc Benedetti. μ-dDIHEN: a new micro-flow liquid sample introduction system for direct injection nebulization in ICP-MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, 34 (8), pp.1553-1563. ⟨10.1039/c9ja00146h⟩. ⟨insu-02862854⟩



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