Determination of 48 elements in 7 plant CRMs by ICP-MS/MS with a focus on technology-critical elements

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Seven plant certified reference materials (NIST SRM1515 Apple Leaves, NIST SRM1547 Peach Leaves, BCR-129 Hay Powder, BCR-670 Aquatic Plant, GBW07603 Bush Twigs and Leaves, GBW10015 Spinach Leaves and NCS ZC73036a Green Tea) were analysed for their mass fractions of 48 elements by inductively coupled plasma tandem-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS): Li, Be, Na, Mg, Al, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Nb, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Te, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Ta, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, U. Special focus was put on the determination of technology-critical elements (TCEs), to which, e.g. Li, Be, Ga, Ge, Nb, Sb, Ta, Tl, Bi, and the rare-earth elements (REEs, lanthanides and Y) are counted. Closed-vessel microwave digestion was performed using HNO3, H2O2 and HBF4. The average bias for certified values is  − 1% ± 13% (SD). Limits of detection (xL) in the measured solutions lie between 13 fg g−1 (Tb) and 52 ng g−1 (Ca). This article seeks to provide an optimised measurement procedure for the determination of element mass fractions of emerging importance in environmental samples, which are challenging to analyse with more traditional techniques such as single-quad ICP-MS. In addition, it aims to improve the characterisation of commonly used plant reference materials by providing mass fraction data for rarely studied elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1172
Number of pages14
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number10. January
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).


  • Plant reference materials
  • Microwave digestion
  • Rare-earth elements
  • N2O
  • Collision/reaction cell

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