Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 399, Issue 6, pp 2167–2174 | Cite as

Capabilities of femtosecond laser ablation ICP-MS for the major, minor, and trace element analysis of high alloyed steels and super alloys

  • Helmar Wiltsche
  • Detlef Günther
Original Paper


Femtosecond laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used for the quantification of 23 metallurgical relevant elements in unalloyed, alloyed and highly alloyed steels, and super alloys. It was shown that by using scanning mode ablation with large ablation spot diameters (250 μm), stable and representative sampling can be achieved for the majority of elements, except for bismuth and lead. For Bi and Pb up to 46%, temporal relative standard deviation (TRSD) was encountered, whereas for most other elements, the TRSDs were below 10%. Calibration with matrix-matched and non-matrix-matched standards provided similar agreement within the uncertainty of the certified values. However, the non-matrix-matched standard-based quantification was more influenced by interferences rather than ablation- or excitation-related matrix effects. The method was validated using 34 certified reference materials. 52Cr, 51V, or 55Mn were used as internal standards due to the fact that the Fe concentration was not certified for the majority of reference materials. The determined concentrations for major and minor elements indicate that the total matrix internal standardization (100 wt.%) is applicable, which requires no knowledge about the steel samples prior to analysis.


CRM chips embedded in epoxy resin


Laser ablation Mass spectrometry/ICP-MS Metals/heavy metals Femtosecond laser ablation ICP-MS High alloyed steel Trace contaminants 



The authors wish to acknowledge the support of Boehler Edelstahl GmbH, Kapfenberg, Austria.

Supplementary material

216_2010_4605_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (83 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 82 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH Zurich, Laboratory of Inorganic ChemistryZürichSwitzerland

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