Application Note

Analysis of Samples Rich in Rare Earth Elements Prepared by Lithium Borate Fusion on the NexION 5000 ICP-MS


Rare earth elements (REEs) have many uses in the advanced technology and electronics that are utilized in automobiles, airplanes, camera lenses, medical devices, televisions, smartphones, and computers, to name a few. With the growing demand for REEs to support technological advancement, the search for larger REE deposits and quality ore material is ongoing. Since raw geological materials that contain REEs are usually only found in low concentrations, it is critical to be able to accurately quantify and detect REEs in the collected geological samples since this determines the viability of new mine sites and can help to expand existing ones.

Among the different analytical techniques available, ICP-MS is ideal to detect low concentration REEs, and appropriate sample preparation before analysis by ICP-MS is crucial to deliver accurate results. This work demonstrates the accurate and highly stable quantification of REEs and other elements of interest in geological samples prepared by lithium borate fusion using the NexION® 5000 multi-quadrupole ICP-MS, delivering outstanding robustness, even for sample types that typically present analytical challenges.