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Direct analysis of trace elements in open-ocean seawater

Photo of a fishing boat at sea

Due to high total dissolved solids (TDS), seawater is considered one of the most difficult matrices to analyse for the presence of heavy metals and other trace elements. Plus, trace elements in open-ocean seawater are even lower than in coastal areas, thus are more challenging to accurately measure using quadrupole ICP-MS. However, PerkinElmer’s NexION® 5000 Multi-Quadrupole ICP-MS instrument is a four-quadrupole system which combines two full-length transmission analyser quadrupoles with versatile Universal Cell Technology to achieve interference-free analysis. This work presents a method for the direct analysis of trace elements in seawater samples using the NexION 5000 ICP-MS system, demonstrating superior interference removal capabilities and sensitivity via exceptional detection limits, accuracy and long-term stability.

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