Inductively coupled plasma

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An analytical method used to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the elemental content of materials. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrophotometry uses radio-frequency coils to generate a high-temperature plasma. The sample, prepared as an acid digested solution, is aspirated into the plasma with argon gas. The wavelengths and intensities of the resultant emission lines are measured to determine the elemental composition of the sample. ICP is used to determine major and minor elements in stone, metal, concrete, glass and other inorganic matrices. It has replaced flame emission (FE) and atomic absorption (AA) spectrophotometers in recent years because it can analyze many elements simultaneously with much lower detection limits.

Synonyms and Related Terms

ICP; induktiv gekoppeltes Plasma (Deut.); plasma couplé par induction (Fr.); inductively-coupled plasma spectrometry

Additional information

  • D. Bourgarit, B. Mille, T. Borel, P. Baptiste, T. Zéphir, A Millennium of Khmer Bronze Metallurgy : A Technical Study of Seventy-five Bronze Artefacts from the Musee Guimet and the Phnom Penh National Museum, 50th Anniversary Symposium on Scientific Research in the Field of Asian Art, Freer Gallery, 27-29 sep. 2001, Washington
  • B. Mille, D. Bourgarit - L'analyse des alliages anciens à base de cuivre : état des connaissances et développement d'un protocole d'analyse par ICP-AES, Revue d'archéométrie, 24, pp. 13-26 '2000)
  • E. Pernicka, Trace Element Fingerprinting of Ancient Copper : A Guide to Technology or Provenance ?, in Metals in Antiquity, éds. Young S.M.M., Pollard P.A.M., Budd P., Ixer R.A., BAR international series 792, Oxford : Archaeopress, 163-171 '1999)

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