Standard Article

Fundamentals and Practical Aspects of Nonspectroscopic Interferences in Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Spectrometry

Atomic Spectroscopy

  1. José Luis Todolí1,
  2. Jean Michel Mermet2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9184

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Todolí, J. L. and Mermet, J. M. 2011. Fundamentals and Practical Aspects of Nonspectroscopic Interferences in Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Spectrometry. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain

  2. 2

    Spectroscopy Forever, Tramoyes, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2011

Abstract

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP/AES) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS) are well-established techniques for elemental analysis. However, matrix effects can be considered to be their main pitfall. Changes in the performance of the system induced by the main sample component (or matrix) are referred to as matrix effects. As a result, the concentration obtained does not correspond to the actual one. Therefore, this is a problem that should be overcome. To do so, matrix effects must be understood. A full comprehension of the interferences begins with an evaluation of the contribution of each part of a spectrometer to the overall effect. This is only accomplished by means in-depth fundamental studies. For more than 40 years, basic research has allowed to reach quite a high knowledge of the phenomena responsible for matrix effects. A representative sample of these is given in the present article. Some of the results of these investigations have allowed for the design and application of methods to find solutions that are appropriate for more or less general applications. In general terms, it may be stated that matrix effects have still not been fully mastered and more research is needed in this field in order to extend the field of applicability of ICP/AES and ICP/MS. Besides, the methods for overcoming interferences cannot be applied universally and new methods must be developed.