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Factors to Consider When Selecting a Perfect ICP-MS System

by Ragini Salampure
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Perfect ICP-MS System

Understanding how the instrument works are not sufficient to give you insight into how to compare different designs and hardware components. There are numerous excellent commercial instruments on the market. But to decide on the best device to purchase, there are several factors to bear in mind. So how do you know which device is suitable for your application? Here are few guidelines on how best to evaluate the instrumentation‘s capability and assess the commitment of the ICP-MS vendor. It bears an essential factor to consider when selecting an ICP-MS. It focuses mainly on evaluating the most vital factors to consider rather than just comparing the instruments’ analytical performance.

Consider instrument reliability

Instrument reliability is generally used to give the reflection of the design of an instrument. Although some manufacturers guarantee a certain percentage for their instrument, it is almost meaningless as long as you don’t understand how it is calculated. But even when you knew to do it, you will still find it challenging to make the comparison. A Good instrument should be reliable. Initially, ICP-MS Instruments were quite prone to frequent downtime. However, development in technology has enhanced both the quality of instrument components and overall reliability. Therefore, it is essential to know instrument components that are likely to pose more challenges than others, especially when the design of an instrument is new. For this reason, it is advisable to talk to a few users in your application field to get their experience.

Consider the level of technical support

Suppose you don’t have any previous encounters with ICP-MS. It would be best if you were assured of Technical support. You don’t want to be left on your own after buying the instrument. Therefore, be sure to understand the level of expertise he supports you and their accessibility. Make sure you know if your vendor can offer technical help whenever the need arises.  Ask yourself if there is a wide range of material to help you develop your methods.  You also need to find out if there are active users for technical and application help. An example of an excellent source of help in this area is the PlasmaChemListserver, a plasma spectrochemistry discussion group found it. 

Consider how often routine maintenance has to be performed

If not correctly maintained, ICP-MS Instruments tend to fail when you least expect them. Due to their complexity, you must consider how often you need to perform routine maintenance to keep it working. It would help if you understood that your samples are placed into the sample introduction system. Your sample is in contact with many components inside the instrument.  Although most current devices are less demanding when it comes to routine maintenance, it is still essential to find out which component should be replaced and at what time. That way, you will keep the instrument in good working condition for a long.  You can also talk to real-world equipment users to make sure you get their experience with maintenance issues. 

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