I am looking for guidance on tuning my ICPMS 8900-QQQ. I know nothing about it, it's such an automatic process. Any appnotes or documents would be helpful.

I need to do a P/A Factor Tune. Before that, the help menu says I need to run an EM Tune. 

What solution should I use for EM tune, standard tuning solution that I use for a regular tune, or some other solution?

I ran the EM tune using standard tuning solution and got a message that read 'It's time to exchange EM. Order EM and make preparation to exchange it.' What does that mean?



  • You can refer to your Mass Hunter User Guide and familiarization disc which contain some helpful information on tuning. I consider tuning an art and while we can give recommended tuning parameters, they can vary between customers depending on their method and application. We used to spend a long time optimizing the lenses to try and maximize sensitivity lower background and the oxides. Autotune takes a lot of the guesswork out of it and has become widely used as an alternative to manual tuning. 

    The detectors reach the end of life once the Pulse HV approaches 2000V or the Analog HV approaches 3500V. Pulse always degrades first typically and you will get the warning in advance of it actually reaching 2000V. Since the detector is one unit, the entire unit must be replaced. You can check your current voltages in the Hardware Pane in the Detector section and EM Setting. You can still run the ICP-MS assuming you still have adequate counts, but you will need to replace it soon.

    For the EM tune, most people run it as part of the system start-up that uses a 1ppb tune solution so they are not changing between solutions for the different hardware optimizations. However, the EM tune is performed using mass 80 which is the argon dimer so the solution does not actually matter.

    For the P/A Tune, you can either run it in Start-up or in batch. For Start-up, in the Detector section, you can navigate to P/A Tune and add elements to the list. The solution you run will dictate the elements you add to the list. You can either use P/A tuning solutions (5188-6524 | Agilent) diluted to 100x or a high-level calibration standard of your own.

    For the batch P/A method, you would utilize the Independent P/A feature. The batch P/A method has become the most common way to perform this tune since it requires no additional standards and will determine the P/A factors during every analysis by using the Calibration Standards. Further information on this can be found in the Help. 

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