Course Information
Course Title: How to Select an ICP-Mass Spectrometer: The Most Important Analytical Considerations
Categories: 1 - Atomic Spectrometry
2 - Atomic Spectroscopy
3 - Mass Spectrometry
4 - Spectroscopy
5 - Inductively Coupled Plasma
Instructor(s): Robert Thomas Course Number: 24
Affiliation: Scientific Solutions
Course Date: 03/10/2009 - Tuesday Course Length: 1/2 Day Course
Start Time: 01:00 PM End Time: 05:00 PM
Fee: $215 ($315 after 2/9/09) Textbook Fee: $105

Course Description
The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of the most important selection criteria for analysts in the trace metal community who are looking to purchase a new ICP-MS system - and in particular what instrument features impact performance and how best to evaluate them. The most common objectives will be discussed when carrying out trace metal analysis and how they impact the evaluation of ICP-MS systems. In addition, the most important selection criteria are presented, in order to compare the different technologies and commercial instrument designs available. The majority of the course will be devoted to an in-depth technical discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and how they affect instrument performance. In addition, some non-technical considerations, like reliability, usability, routine maintenance and cost of ownership, will be presented.

Target Audience
It is targeted at chemists/technicians who are carrying out the evaluation process, but would also be very useful for management who want to better understand the non-technical and financial side of the issues. It would be beneficial if participants in the course had some experience with atomic absorption (AA) or inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES).

Course Outline
• A Brief Overview of ICP-MS
• Analytical Objectives
• Evaluation Guidelines
• Selection Criteria related to Analytical Performance 
• Discussion about Commercial Equipment 
• Other “Non-Analytical” Considerations

Course Instructor's Biography
Robert Thomas has worked in trace element analysis for almost 40 years - 10 years as an analytical chemist in the metallurgical industry and 20 years in sales, marketing and product development, for a manufacturer of ICP-MS instrumentation. For the past 8 years he has been principal of Scientific Solutions, a trace element analysis consulting company based in Gaithersburg, MD. He has authored over 60 technical papers/articles and has recently published his second textbook entitled “A Practical Guide to ICP-MS: A Tutorial for Beginners”. He has an advanced degree in analytical chemistry from the University of Wales in the UK.