Using ICPMS/MS to determine manganese, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium and lead concentrations on less than 40ml of seawater

Jackson and co-workers (2018, see reference below) first did a classical offline preconcentration of small seawater aliquots using a SeaFast system. More innovative is the use of a state of the art inductively coupled plasma – tandem mass spectrometry (ICPMS/MS) to analyse the eluate. Such tool combines two mass-selecting quadrupoles separated by an octopole collision/reaction cell. The collision/reaction cell was pressurized with O2 gas for the analysis of manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) and H2 gas for the analysis of iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), which removed common interferences (e.g. ArO+ on 56Fe and MoO+ on Cd)… and the detection limits were less than 0.050 nmol/l, which is extremely low!

18 Jackson
A schematic diagram of the preconcentration and analysis of Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in seawater samples. Seawater samples are preconcentrated using the seaFAST preconcentration system, and analysed on an ICP-MS/MS pressurized with either O2 gas (Mn, Ni, Cu, Cd and Pb) or H2 gas (Fe, Zn). Click here to view the figure larger.


Jackson, S. L., Spence, J., Janssen, D. J., Ross, A. R. S., & Cullen, J. T. (2018). Determination of Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in seawater using offline extraction and triple quadrupole ICP-MS/MS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 33(2), 304–313.


Latest highlights

Science Highlights

Surprisingly heavy silicon isotopes in the surface and deep Arctic Ocean

Brzezinski and his colleagues report on a comprehensive study of the Arctic Ocean silicic acid concentrations and silicon isotopic composition…


Science Highlights

Unique winter dataset of particulate and dissolved cadmium in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean

Cloete and collaborators analysed particulate and dissolved cadmium at 7 stations in austral winter along a North South section off South Africa.


Science Highlights

A new proxy for ocean iron bioavailability

The approach established and verified in this study, opens a new way for determining dissolved iron bioavailability in samples across the ocean.


Science Highlights

Scavenging differentiates the distribution of cadmium, nickel, zinc and copper in the North Pacific Ocean

Zheng and co-authors observed sectional distributions of cadmium, nickel, zinc, and copper in the North Pacific Ocean during three GEOTRACES related cruises…