About the book
All matter, living and non-living, is composed of chemical elements. Typically, elements are associated in the form of molecules and it is these molecules that are mostly subject to analysis. However, elemental analysis (i.e. the analysis of individual elements) is of great importance in the most diverse areas, from the quality control of water for human consumption to the analysis of clinical samples to detect eventual deficiencies or the detection of metallic impurities in pharmaceuticals.
Elemental mass spectrometry evolved from classic atomic spectroscopy techniques (flame and plasma atomic emission spectrometry; flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry). In the version plasma-mass spectrometry (particularly inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry / ICP-MS), it has become an almost perfect tool for elemental analysis: it allows rapid (almost simultaneous) analysis of almost all elements of the periodic table; it has high sensitivity (it allows to obtain the lowest detection limits, in the order of ng/L or even lower) and allows to individually analyze the different isotopes of the same element (isotopic analysis). Thus, it paved the way for a variety of new applications, such as the elemental mapping of surfaces with laser ablation-ICP-MS, the quantification and characterization of metallic particles, and the study of the elemental composition or uptake of metals (and in particular nanoparticles) at the individual cell scale.
This book intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and the recent advances of elemental analysis using ICP-MS and to highlight the increasing expansion of elemental analysis in different areas (food, environment, clinical/toxicology, forensic), including reference to current state-of-the-art applications.