May 19 – 23, 2019
Europe/Madrid timezone

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: An Ultrasensitive Tool for Ultralow Background Physics

Not scheduled


Isaac Arnquist


Since its first development in the mid-1980s, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) quickly became the ‘gold standard’ for quantitative elemental analysis. Through iterative optimization in design, hardware, and software, ICP-MS continues to provide ever-impressive analytical figures of merit (e.g., sensitivity, resolution, etc.) and, thus, grow in new application arenas. It is particularly useful and now well established in the determination of naturally-occurring long-lived radioisotopes (e.g., U-238, Th-232, K-40) in ultralow background (ULB) rare-event detector materials and is the focus of this talk. This presentation will briefly describe the basics of ICP-MS before providing some illustrative examples of the strengths and weaknesses of the technique as it relates to ULB material assays. The talk will also focus on how ICP-MS techniques are being employed to meet the stringent radiopurity requirements for current and next-generation ULB experiments.

Primary authors

Isaac Arnquist Maria Laura di Vacri (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) Mr Eric Hoppe (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Presentation materials

There are no materials yet.