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ICPMS web site and detailed description

by TIM last modified Nov 14, 2020 10:20 AM

Published by François Lacan, November 2019

 ICPMS web site


  • Provide state of the art Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments to the scientist of the Midi Pyrenees Observatory (Toulouse).
  • Provide an expertise in ICPMS analyses to the scientist of the Midi Pyrenees Observatory.
  • Contribute to the training of master, PhD students, postdocs, technician, engineers and researcher, in the field of ICPMS analyses


Scientific Rationale

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) allows the determination of trace element concentrations (down to 10-12g/g) and isotopic ratios. ICPMS has become widely used since the 90s for concentration determinations and the years 2000 for isotopes. With innumerable applications in many fields, such as industry or forensics, ICPMS is probably used in all fields of research about our environment, the study of the universe and of our planet, its biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and continents, its interior and so on, with application in meteorology, climate prognostics, resources (ore and energy), health, pollution, etc.
Maintaining a state of the art facility requires a continuous efforts in order to

  • acquire new instruments becoming commercially available,
  • develop new technics to be used with those instruments,
  • verify the quality of the measurements,
  • adapt the infrastructure to the new instruments and developments

Description of the facility

The Toulouse OMP ICPMS facility is composed of

  • People: 3 technicians and engineers and 1 researcher
  • Infrastructures: a 75m2 room, with filtered and conditioned air
  • Instruments (cf. Fig. 1):

1 quadrupole ICPMS (Agilent 7500CE)
1 high resolution, sector field, XR HR-ICPMS (Thermoscientific)
1 multi-collector MC-ICPMS (Neptune Plus, Thermoscientific)

  • Introduction systems (cf. Fig. 1):

In addition to the standard wet spray chambers

1 femtosecond laser (New Wave Research NWRFemto)

1 nanosecond laser (New Wave Research NWR213)
1 gaz chromatography (Trace GC Ultra, Thermoscientific)
  Various desolvators (Aridus, Apex)

Achievements over the period 2014-2019

  • One engineer assistant was hired, C. Duquenoy, in charge of the Q-ICPMS
  • The femtosecond and nanosecond lasers were acquired
  • The Neptune Plus was acquired to replace the Neptune
  • A QQQ-ICPMS is in the process of being bought to replace the quadrupole ICPMS
  • A chiller room was build and equipped with air conditioning

The facility welcomed 47 researchers and 10 engineers (permanent staff), 8 postdoc, 23 PhD and a large number of master students.
The facility was involved in the publication of 150 peer reviewed articles. Providing a list of scientific results here is not possible, they are too numerous.


The ICP-MS Facility staff is composed of 3 permanent technicians and engineers, including the technical head of the facility (J. Chmeleff), and 1 researcher elected for a 5 year mandate, as the scientific head of the facility. Whereas the 3 permanent staffs are from another OMP lab, GET, F. Lacan (LEGOS) has been elected as the scientific head from November 2012 to mid-2020.


Visit the OMP ICP-MS facility Web site:




In the coming years, we plan to:

  • build a new ICP-MS lab, in order to fit all of our instruments within a single space
  • acquire a second multi-collector ICPMS


People in charge of the facility:

J. Chmeleff, A. Marquet, C. Duquenoy, F. Lacan



GET, LEGOS, ECOLAB, IRAP, OMP: Observatoire Midi Pyrénées (Toulouse)


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