ICP analyses (ICP-MS and ICP-AES/ICP-OES) in a laboratory

What do we mean by ICP analyses?

ICP is an abbreviation of “Inductively Coupled Plasma” which is an analytical technique which measures the inorganic contents of a sample. This technique is applicable to all kinds of chemical elements.

ICP analysis has multiple steps: first of all, a solid sample must be dissolved using a strong acid or a mix of strong acids or using microwaves. This is called mineralization. The mixture is then injected using Argon plasma and put at a very high temperature. These thermal stimuli lead to the sample being ionized and the different elements separating from each other allowing for the sample to be characterized and to detect each element depending on the type of analyzer being used. 

FILAB owns about fifteen ICP machines but most importantly, we are the first laboratory in France to own an ICP-MS/MS!

Contact FILAB


At FILAB we have two types of analyzers in our Laboratory:

  • ICP coupled to Atomic emission spectrometers (ICP-AES) which measure the wave lengths of light emitted by ions

  • ICP coupled to Mass Spectrometers (ICP-MS) with which the elements are analyzed based on their charge and mass.

The combination of ICP-AES and ICP-MS machines allows us to determine a wide variety of inorganic elements and elemental impurities at once with extreme reliability and precision (down to a few ppt or ppb depending on the matrix).

ICP-AES or ICP-MS: what’s the difference?

ICP analysis is used to meet many types of industrial needs:

  • To confirm the chemical composition of a mixture

  • To confirm that productions comply with a scope statement, with a safety data sheet (SDS) or with a supplier’s own specifications

  • To verify that a formula or a material complies with relevant standards, imposing quantification thresholds

  • To detect an elemental impurity causing a defect to appear in the finished product

  • Analysis of poor metals: Aluminum, Thallium, Indium…

  • To detect trace amounts of heavy metals: Arsenic As, Lead Pb, Cadmium Cd, Mercury Hg…

  • To characterize an unknown deposit

  • To register a new mineral material when double sourcing

  • To reverse engineer a substance to be able to compare its chemical makeup to that of similar substances

  • Single Particle SP-ICP-MS analysis of nanoparticles 

FILAB performs inorganic analyses using ICP-MS or ICP-AES on all types of matrices and can also:

  • Develop your own techniques

  • Transfer our techniques to your laboratory staff

  • Validate protocols in accordance with relevant guidelines

  • Analytically train your teams either on your site or here at FILAB 

Discover examples of possible applications for ICP-AES or ICP-MS depending on your field:

Here are a few examples of applications specific to your field: 

  • Medical devices

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • The Environment

  • Cosmetics

  • Automotive and aeronautics

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support

Thomas ROUSSEAU Scientific and Technical Director
Ask for your quote
+33 (0)3 80 52 32 05 Request
a quote
Thank you !

Click here to know more about our services

Logo Filab laboratoire analyse chimique