Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry

Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is a rapid, virtually non-destructive, and highly sensitive quantitative analytical technique capable of determining data for 60+ elements at the parts-per-million and parts-per-billion level. With exceptions for highly homogeneous materials such as glass and metals, LA-ICP-MS is the technique of choice in many analytical laboratories for examining glazes, paints, and other features on the surface of an artifact. Since 2000, researchers at the Archaeometry Laboratory have been using LA-ICP-MS to address archaeological questions.

Sample Submission & Rates

193nm Excimer laser ablation system
Perkin Elmer quadrapole ICP-MS
Clipping a small ceramic sample for analysis
Painted ceramics ready for surface pigment analysis
Obsidian mounted for LA-ICP-MS
The Archaeometry Lab's two sample holders. Left: 10 x 10 x 1.4 cm open sample holder. Right: Sample holder for four petrographic slides
The HelExII ablation chamber
Ablation chamber with silcrete samples
Pre-ablation (110 µm) and ablation (40 µm) lines ready to run
Pre-ablation (110 µm) and ablation (40 µm) scars post run