Simplex approach to the optimisation of the ion optics bias potentials of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer
The sensitivity of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) depends on the efficiency of the ion transmission which in turn depends on the operator skill for setting the ion optics bias potentials. Moreover, ion transmission is also subject to mass effects which impose compromises when multi-elemental analysis is performed over a widely distributed mass range. This paper describes the use of a computer driven simplex algorithm to optimise the ion transmission across the whole mass range of the Periodic Table. By comparison with results obtained by a skilled operator, improvement of ion transmission of from 33%(Li) up to 380%(U), depending on the mass of the element determined, can currently be obtained.