Application Note

Improved Analysis of Fluid Inclusions with LA-ICP-MS Using the NexION ICP-MS: Advantages of a Fast-Scanning Quadrupole


The elemental concentration of fluid inclusions in geological samples provides information about geological processes that lead to the formation of ores and minerals. Laser ablation-ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS) is the preferred technique for measuring elemental concentrations in fluid inclusions due to its ability to precisely target and sample/ablate individual inclusions with a laser. However, a limitation of LA-ICP-MS is that it is a sequential technique, measuring one analyte at a time – a function of quadrupole ICP-MS systems.

This work demonstrates the unique ability of PerkinElmer’s NexION® ICP-MS systems to analyze inclusions in geological samples, thanks to their fast quadrupole scan and settling times. Faster analysis time allows the accurate determination of smaller inclusions (< 10 µm), without sacrificing data quality, while also allowing the more representative analysis of different components of polyphase inclusions, compared to conventional quadrupole ICP-MS systems.