ICP-OES (Inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry) is a technique in which the composition of elements in (mostly water-dissolved) samples can be determined using plasma and a spectrometer. The technique has been commercially available since 1974 and thanks to its reliability, multi-element options and high throughput, it has become a widely applied in both routine research as in more specific analysis purposes.Skyray has ICP3000 system for supply.
The solution to analyze is conducted by a peristaltic pump though a nebulizer into a spray chamber. The produced aerosol is lead into an argon plasma. Plasma is the forth state of matter, next to the solid, liquid and gaseous state. In the ICP-OES the plasma is generated at the end of a quarts torch by a cooled induction coil through which a high frequency alternate current flows.Each element has an own characteristic emission spectrum that is measured with a spectrometer. The light intensity on the wavelength is measured and with the calibration calculated into a concentration.