Application Note

Direct Analysis of Trace Elements in Open-Ocean Seawater using the NexION 5000 ICP-MS


Due to high total dissolved solids (TDS), seawater is considered one of the most difficult matrices to analyze for the presence of heavy metals and other trace elements. Plus, trace elements in open-ocean seawater are even lower than in coastal areas, thus are more challenging to accurately measure using quadrupole ICP-MS.

However, the NexION® 5000 Multi-Quadrupole ICP-MS is a four-quadrupole system which combines the power of two full-length transmission analyzer quadrupoles (Q1 and Q3) with versatile Universal Cell Technology (UCT, Q2) to achieve interference-free analysis. This work presents a method for the direct analysis of trace elements in seawater samples using the NexION 5000 ICP-MS, demonstrating superior interference removal capabilities and outstanding sensitivity via exceptional detection limits, accuracy and long-term stability.