FAQ & Queries
Frequently Asked Questions
Read through our FAQs or use a link to jump to the answer that interests you.If you have additional questions, please Contact Us.
1. What kinds of samples can be submitted?We accept a variety of samples, including liquid and solid samples from environmental and biological sources, including samples of soil, plants, cells, tissue, buffers, and metals. For an extended list, please see Available Services. If you are unsure about your sample, please Contact Us with your questions.
2. Which elements are detectible by your ICP-MS?ICP-MS methods can detect naturally occurring elements other than hydrogen, helium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon, chlorine, argon, krypton and xenon.
3. Can ICP-MS distinguish between different ions or oxidation states of the same element?Unfortunately, no, ICP-MS is not capable of distinguishing between these.
4. Can ICP-MS distinguish between different isotopes of the same element?Yes!
5. Is your lab a state-accredited water testing lab?No. We can give you an idea of the elemental content in your water, however we are not state-accredited to determine whether your water is safe.
6. I have a sample of unknown composition, can ICP-MS determine the contents?Yes, Semiquantitative Determination of Elemental Content can be used to determine the relative content of detectable elements.
7. How large of a sample is required for ICP-MS analysis?For most solid biological samples we require each sample to be no less than 20 mg and no more than 500 mg. For solid inorganic samples such as dirt, 1 gram is sufficient. For liquids, we recommend submitting 0.2 – 1.0 mL per sample (depending on the concentration of elements of interest).
8. How do I prepare my samples? Can I submit unprepared samples?Please refer to Preparing Sample Submissions for details on how to prepare your samples. Please Contact Us if you have questions regarding an unusual sample. If you prepare your own samples you will also need to submit a blank sample that was prepared identically. You can also submit your samples as is and we will prepare them for analysis (see Pricing).
9. Will I get my samples back?No, we do not return your samples.
10. How much will it cost to analyze my samples?The answer depends on the number of samples, how many elements are being tested for, what sort of analysis is being conducted, and how many of the samples we are preparing for analysis. Please refer to Pricing for the price ranges for our most popular services.
11. How do I submit my samples? Can I submit samples if I am not a local resident?You can submit contact information and details for your sample analysis by going to Sample Forms. Your samples may be dropped off or mailed to our laboratory (see Contact Us). Please include a list of Sample IDs with your samples. For more details, please visit Request Services & Check Results.
12. How long will it take to hear back about the results for my samples?Turnaround time varies depending upon the type and number of samples, and whether we are preparing the samples. Turnaround time is typically between 2 and 6 weeks.
13. Where can I find my results?Your analyzed results will be posted on View Your Data once they are available.
14. Will you help me with my experiment? I am unsure of the best approach to determine the information I want.We offer experimental consultation, please see Pricing for more details and Contact Us to get in touch.
15. Where can I learn more about how ICP-MS works?We offer a brief overview of ICP-MS. Additionally, our Education & Links section has a number of resources, including a page about ICP-MS as a Technique, and other educational Links.
16. I am interested in identifying metalloproteins, can ICP-MS be used for this?Yes, working in conjunction with MS/MS, we can use HPLC-ICP-MS for metalloprotein identification. Please see Metalloproteomics for more details.
17. How else can I apply ICP-MS technology in my experiments?Please explore our sections on expanded uses of ICP-MS:
- Semiquantitative Determination of Elemental Content
- Emerging Techniques