ICP center

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The project emerged from a collaboration between 6 scientific groups from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Geneva, coordinated by the mass spectrometry service platform.

Three Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) instruments were purchased in 2011 and 2012 : a high resolution multicollector ICP-MS (MC-ICP-MS) fitted with a desolvating nebulizer and an excimer laser, a quadrupole ICP-MS (Q-ICP-MS) and an ICP optical Emission (ICP-OES) spectrometers. They are all equipped with autosamplers. They are located in the same building (SMS platform) in a way to optimize the operating and administrative costs. Two of them are located in a class 100'000 cleanroom (MC-ICP-MS and Q-ICP-MS). The MC-ICP-MS is exclusively dedicated to research (contact prof. Urs Schaltegger for more information). The Q-ICP-MS and the ICP-OES instruments are dedicated to services for environmental applications (Contact Dr. John Poté, Institut Forel) and chemical, biochemical or biological applications (Contact Dr. Sophie Michalet, Sciences Mass Spectrometry facility).

Besides, two chromatographic separation devices were acquired for hyphenation purposes : an Ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatography system (UHPLC) and a fractionation - multi-detection system named asymmetrical low field-flow fractionation with diode array detector, differential refractive index, fluorescence detector, mutiangle laser light scattering (AFlFFF-DAD-DRI-Fl-MALS, contact Prof. Vera Slaveykova, Institut Forel).



True to scale :

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  Neptune Plus
7700x iCAP 6300 Duo



Intrument Type Specific performance Main applications 


(ThermoFisher Scientific)


Collector assembly for simultaneous multicollection of different isotope masses at variable beam intensities

9 faraday cups

3 conventional discrete dynode secondary electron multipliers (SEM), two of them preceded by a retarding potential quadrupole (RPQ) lens for energy filtering and 4 compact discrete dynode SEM (CDD) with 2 amu spacing

CETAC Aridus 2 desolvating nebulizer, uptake rates as small as 40µl per minute

193 nm ArF Excimer laser (Photon Machines), laser spots with 30 µm in diameter

Isotope ratio analysis from solutions (pre-separated and pre-concentrated elements at ppb level), or from solids through laser ablationRadiogenic and stable isotope analysis on solutions from rock powders, separated minerals, fossil fragments, or any other solid or liquid, organic or inorganic sample material or by direct sampling using laser ablation

Direct coupling of liquid chromatography or aFIFFF separation and detector systems to the NEPTUNE Plus are opening promising new research fields in environmental isotope geochemistry


(Agilent technologies)


High Matrix Interface (HMI)

ORS3 collision/reaction cell

Equipped with Infinity 1290 UHPLC system

Element speciation, multielement quantitation

iCAP 6300 Duo

(ThermoFisher Scientific)


Mass Flow Controller (MFC)

Dual view (axial & radial)

Element speciation, multielement quantitation



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aFIFFF-UV-DRI-MALS Infinity 1290


Instrument Type Specific performance Main applications 

aFlFFF-​UV-​DRI-​MALS (Postnova)

Multi-detector Asymetric flow field-​flow fractionation coupled online with UV-​spectrophotometer, differential refractive index, and multiangle laser light scattering Fractionation - multi-detection system : fractionation and characterization according to their diffusivity colloids, manufactured nanoparticles, natural biopolymers, cell organelles and their metal complexes in complex environmental and biological samples

1290 Infinity

(Agilent technologies)

UHPLC Binary pump, 1260 fluorescence & 1290 DAD detectors, autosampler, Thermostated Column Compartment Separation of chemical components from clear liquid samples

MIcrowave reaction system for sample preparation

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Multiwave Pro Solv
  Rotor 64MG5


Instrument Type Specific performance Main applications 

Multiwave Pro Solv (Anton Paar)

Equipped with rotor 64MG5 64 positions, single use glass vials of 5 mL

Mineralization of low quantity of sample, around 10 mg, particularly well suited for biological samples

Equipped with rotor 24HVT50
24 positions, 50 mL teflon vessels using Smart Vent technology
Mineralization of up to 2 g of sample