Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

The Inductively Coupled Plasma spectroscopy was developed at the end of 1970’s bringing a new multi elemental analytical method at the hands of the researchers. Archaeometric applications started not later than 1990’s. Nowadays, Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry is used widely in glass analyses. LA-ICPMS offers detection of a vast amount of elements, including rare earth and trace elements, low detection limits (concentrations can vary from 0.1 ppm to % wt.), very good precision and accuracy; furthermore, it is fast and can be considered as non-destructive technique, since the laser crater is not visual with the naked eye.

In the present project a LA-ICP-MS facility was used at the Analytical Geochemical Laboratories at British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK. The LA-ICP-MS instrument consisted of a NewWave UP193FX excimer (193nm) laser system with built in microscope imaging coupled to an Agilent 7500 series ICP-MS was used for the characterisation of 32 trace elements. The experimental conditions included: laser ablation craters set at 70m, the laser being fired for 45s at 10Hz, typical fluence of 2.8 Jcm-2. Calibration of the system was performed using NIST SRM610 trace element glass standard and a NIST SRM612 was used for quality control purposes.