Skip to content

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

Laser Ablation ICP-MS

The laser ablation ICP-MS system is used for micro-sampling of solid material for trace element, predominantly cation analysis. It consists of a 213nm Nd:YAG New Wave pulsed solid state laser (NWR213 New Wave) coupled to an Agilent 7900x ICP- Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer. Detection limits reach into the ppb range allowing for true trace element analysis of a wide variety of solid material, including geological and biological samples. Advances in LAICPMS now include mapping samples for trace elements and their isotopes using a new 193nm RESOlution LR Excimer Laser coupled to an Agilent 7900 ICP-MS.

Agilent 7900x with attached New Wave NWR213 laser ablation system

Adelaide Microscopy houses two Agilent ICP-MS instruments with attached laser ablation systems that are routinely used for fundamental research in geological, ecological, and biological investigation of materials. Routine elemental analysis of minerals and fish otoliths are carried out on the New Wave NWR213 laser system attached to our Agilent 7900x ICP-MS Open external site link in new window.

Agilent 7900x with attached RESOlution LR 193nm Excimer laser system

In late 2011, Adelaide Microscopy took delivery of a RESOlution LR Open external site link in new window 193nm Excimer laser system and new Agilent 7900x Open external site link in new window ICP-MS. The prime directive of this acquisition was to further enhance the low level concentration elemental mapping capabilities of Adelaide Microscopy. The large format S155 sample chamber designed by Laurin Technic Pty which offers improved sample throughput, and excellent signal sensitivity, washout, and stability.

Laser ablation 2-D compositional maps of garnet


  • in-situ U-Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite
  • Trace element characterization of minerals and fused rock powders
  • Trace element characterisation of fish otoliths & statoliths
  • High resolution 2-D trace element mapping
  • Data reduction using Iolite Open external site link in new window
  • Automated ablation of large datasets including offline setup of ablation sequence (excimer)
  • High-spatial resolution (4 um) spots and linescans (excimer)
  • Capability to overlay images into a stack (excimer)

Laser ablation 2-D compositional maps of eucalypt leaf, mouse brain, wheat grain, tooth (clockwise from left)

Mineral and glass standards:

  • GJ-1 and Plesovice zircon
  • MAdel-1 and 222 monazite
  • MKED titanite
  • Durango apatite
  • NIST 610, 612, 614
  • MPI-DING glasses
  • STDGL3 sulphide
  • MACS-3 carbonate standard
  • BCR-2, BHVO-2 and GSD-1G fused glasses

Please contact Dr. Sarah Gilbert for more information on capabilities and access to the instruments.

Adelaide Microscopy

Ground Floor NG13,
Helen Mayo Building North
Frome Road
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005

Location and map


T: +61 8 8313 5855

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
(except public holidays and University closure days over the Christmas/New Year period)

Make a Booking Book an instrument

Don't have an account? Register here.