All skimmer cones are samples, regardless of the ICP-MS design, manufacturer, or supplier serves the same purpose. They are the differential openings dividing the example from the detectors and filters at maximum vacuum. Though the critical dimensions are significantly similar, each manufacturer has designed the cones to their unique specifications.
This depends on the design of the mass spectroscopy. The authentic cone design may vary significantly from one product manufacturer to another. The analytical zone that needs maintenance displays the most fundamental differences. Together with the type of samples, such as seawater, soil digest, and groundwater, these differences contribute to the rate at which salts and oxides are accumulating in and around the cone orifice.
Besides, they affect the rate of cone degradation and influence the cleaning process. Ideally, the data quality is the perfect diagnosis equipment for determining when to change or clean the cones.
Note that all instrument manufacturers are prescribing a daily routine to assess the system’s status before the analytical run. These quick and simple tests can also be applied to evaluate cone conditions qualitatively. Read on and learn how to recognize them when the cones negatively affect instruments’ performance.
Reasons Why Interface Cones Should have Routine Maintenance:
Blocking or Clogging:
When the salts and oxides are building up within and around the cone orifice, they will alter the gas flow dynamics and electrical aspects of the icp ms skimmer cone interface. Symptoms may involve degradation and minimized sensitivity of signal stability. There may be a difference in the signal response across the mass range due to maximum vacuum or pressure changes between the skimmer cone and pressure ranges when it comes to severe cases.
Even if it is improper to use, a wide range of use, aggressive matrix, or blunt force trauma over time, cones will be reduced beyond the required restrictions. Proper cleaning and careful handling will typically allow about 500h of operation application from each set of Ni cones and about 1800h, equivalent to 18 months from Pt cones. Some widespread symptoms of cone degradation are double-charged species, elevated oxide levels, and poor vacuum levels in severe cases.
Like other components of the sample introduction system, sample cones are known for specific memory effects, most likely from magnesium, boron, and lithium elements. That is specifically true when trying trace analysis of factors in a solution at high concentration in the past.
These effects may be inhibiting quality analysis before correctly before visual buildup happens around the analytical area of the cones. However, in most occurrences, the memory effects are caused by the sample introduction system. So, a thorough assessment of entire prospective sources of memory effects needs to be done.
It is significant for professionals using ICP-MS skimmer cones to clean them under non-chemical and mild conditions. Most of these cones are very costly to repair whenever they get damaged. But, with specific applications, the device will need mechanical cleaning. It will help select the cleaning options that best fulfill your needs.
During elemental determinations by ICP-MS skimmer cones, specifically in samples with maximum matrix components, the instrumentation must be kept in excellent working order to maximize productivity and performance.