ICP-MS nickel cone HNO3+HCl mixture resistance


I have memory effect challenges with some metals in my icp-ms analysises and I think the metals are getting stuck in the cones. I was going to run some flushing and washing tests using mixture of HNO3 and HCl, but I'm not sure if the nickel cones can take that mixture. The concentration I was going to use is 4%+4% at maximum, so it's not very concentrated. So, my question is that will that acid mixture damage the cones? The cones I am using are G3280-67061 sampler cone and G8400-67200. Thank you in advance!

  • Hi,

    just to clarify: You want to run this Mixture through the sample introduction system? If so, it is possible but not recommended for a long period.

    If you want to sonicate the cones in this solution, it will definitely damage your cones.

    If you want to clean the cones, the first rule is to use two separate beaker. one for each cone. 

    In your case, you have a Ni-Plated Sample cone. Sonicate in DI Water should work (not for the skimmer), if not

    Then use a 1-2% solution of Citranox in DI Water and sonicate the cones for 10-15min.

    After that, sonicate with DI Water thoroughly at least two times.

    Normally this is enough cleaning.

    If not, than use 1-2% nitric acid and sonicate for max. 15min. and rinse with DI Water afterwards

    Good luck.


  • Hi! Thank you for the quick answer. Yes, I was talking about introducing the mixture through the sample introduction system when the machine is running. Maybe I'll have to come up with something else, because I also thought that this might damage the cones in the long run.  

  • Which metals are giving you troubles? There are some  alternative rinses we can use for certain “sticky” elements like Boron, Mercury, etc. Also if the issue only happens on occasion, sometimes setting up an intelligent rinse protocol is a great solution to minimize the effects of carryover. 

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