MRI-R2: Acquisition of an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP/MS)
Aga, Diana Principal Investigator
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This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). With this award from the Major Research and Instrumentation (MRI) program, Professor Diana Aga, Tracy Bank, Eliza S. Calder, Alan J. Rabideau and David F. Watson will acquire an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP/MS) to be used for environmental science and engineering research. Projects that will be undertaken include: 1.) environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials, 2.) biogeochemistry and remediation of heavy metal pollutants, 3.) geochemical analysis of volcanic rocks for petrological research, 4.) transport and modeling of strontium and phytoremediation of cadmium, and, 5.) characterization of semiconductor nanomaterials. Mass spectrometry (MS) is used to identify the chemical composition of a sample by measuring the mass of the molecular constituents in the sample after they are ionized and detected by the mass spectrometer. The ICP/MS will allow analysis of metal speciation at sub-parts per billion (ppb) levels, which is crucial in accurately assessing the effectiveness of bioremediation and the risks of metal contamination. It will not only be useful for environmental samples, but will also be a highly valuable characterization tool for nanomaterials research. The laser ablation system in front of the ICP/MS can be used for direct analysis of solid rocks and semiconductor materials. This will advance and transform the current research activities of students and in Geology and Chemistry.