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CHAPTER 3

General Overview

The fundamental principles and technical aspects, which are the same or similar for the types of sector field instruments covered in this book (i.e. ICP-MS, GDMS, TIMS, SIMS, IRMS) are described as general conspectus within this section in order to provide an understanding of fundamental principles of elemental and isotopic mass spectrometry. Starting with the basic operation principle of a mass spectrometer covering the generation of ions from a samples, the separation of these ions according to their mass/charge (m/z) ratio to the final detection of these ions, this book section describes the basic operational principles of the respective techniques along with the major differences (i.e. ion sources, vacuum conditions) between the different types of sector field instruments. An overview about the most important advantages and drawbacks of magnetic sector field instruments and a short description of alternative mass analyzers is given. Finally, a schematic of the periodic table of the elements shows the possible element-specific applications of ICP-MS, GDMS, TIMS, SIMS and IRMS, both for elemental and isotopic analysis.

Print publication date: 26 Nov 2014
Copyright year: 2015
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-392-2
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-540-7
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78262-356-4
Citation: