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Agilent 7700 ICP-MS

Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a technique suitable for trace elemental analysis of both liquid and solid materials including geological, biological, metallurgic, agricultural and environmental samples.


Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a technique suitable for trace elemental analysis of several materials, including geological, biological, metallurgic, agricultural and environmental samples. Its main advantage is that it can rapidly analyse a large number of elements in a single analytical run. Samples can be analysed in either a liquid (solution ICP-MS) or solid form (laser ablation; LA-ICP-MS) with typical detection limits for most elements in the parts per trillion range. We operate an Agilent 7700 ICP-MS equipped with collision cell technology (He) for reduction and elimination of polyatomic interferences on difficult to analyse elements. In addition to elemental analysis, the ICP-MS can be used for the determination of isotopic ratios of selected elements to a precision of ±0.2% for isotopic tracing and uranium-lead dating of minerals from rocks such as zircon.

We have previously developed and applied methods that include:

• marine & terrestrial environment samples
• elemental composition of foods
• biological samples (cell cultures, hair, bodily fluids, etc.)
• plant and wood material
• aquaculture samples (paua, cockle, mussels, etc.)
• anti-cancer drugs
• mineral composition of geological & volcanic samples
• geochronology of minerals
• meteorites and the origins of the Solar System
• provenance of archaeological artefacts


• Solution ICP-MS (liquid samples)
• Laser ablation ICP-MS (solid samples) – ASI Resolution 193nm laser system (installed May 2019)
• Detection Limit: parts per trillion – parts per million (dependent on analysis mode and sample matrix)


• Solution ICP-MS analysis is mostly suitable for all* elements except for the following: H, He, C, N, O, F, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn. It is not ideal for Cl, Br, I.
• Laser Ablation ICP-MS is able to determine the same elemental suite plus Carbon.
• if you are unsure, please discuss your elemental profile project with the technician to determine what method is ideal for your samples.


Agilent Mass Hunter controls the ICP-MS. All data output is in an excel chart.


Email Stuart Morrow for all enquiries related to the Agilent 7700 ICP-MS.


Sample collection, preparation and storage are important for obtaining good data.  When designing your experiment, please discuss it with your supervisor or a technician to ensure you can get it right the 1st time.


The ICP-MS is charged at an hourly rate. Solution work ranges from $20-40/hour. LA-ICP-MS ranges from $45-65/hour.


Post-graduate Students, Doctoral Candidates, Research/Academic Staff, Professional Staff, Collaborators (external to the University), External Clients / Private Companies.

Access Requirements

The Agilent 7700 ICP-MS and associate instrumentation is housed on the City Campus in the School of Environment Instrument Lab (302-730B). Lab access requires health and safety training, and can be granted to users as applicable.


This instrument is operated by staff only.


Booking requests are submitted through the Auckland Science Analytical Services (ASAS) iLab booking system. Users and their principal investigators or research group need to first have accounts in the iLab booking system. Instructions, details and FAQs on how to sign up to iLab can be found on the ASAS website.