A matrix effect and accuracy evaluation for the determination of elements in milk powder LIBS and laser ablation/ICP-OES spectrometry
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Laser ablation coupled to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (LA-ICP-OES) and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) were investigated for the determination of Ca, Mg, Zn and Na in milk samples. The accuracy of both methods was evaluated by comparison of the concentration found using LA-ICP-OES and LIBS with classical wet digestion associated with ICP-OES determination. The results were not fully acceptable, with biases from less than 1% to more than 60%. Matrix effects were also investigated. The sample matrix can influence the temperature, electron number density (n e) and other excitation characteristics in the ICP. These ICP characteristics were studied and evaluated during ablation of eight milk samples. Differences in n e (from 8.9 to 13.8 × 1014 cm−3) and rotational temperature (ranging from 3,400 to 4,400 K) occurred with no correlation with trueness. LIBS results obtained after classical external calibration procedure gave degraded accuracy, indicating a strong matrix effect. The LIBS measurements clearly showed that the major problem in LA-ICP was related to the ablation process and that LIBS spectroscopy is an excellent diagnostic tool for LA-ICP techniques.
KeywordsInductively coupled plasma Laser-induced plasma Optical spectrometry Temperatures Matrix effects
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