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Custom multi-element standard

I am a PhD candidate looking to acquire a custom multi-element standard for my project, which is looking at relationship of the metal content of the soil profile and plant seed material in order to determine the region at which the seed was sampled from. I attend to most of the analysis on an ICP-MS instrument and maybe an ICP-OES for the major elements, so ideally I want a multi-element standard which contains: Mg, Al, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Sr, Rb, Mo, Cd, Sn, Sb, Ba, Hg, and Pb

When designing a multi-element standard, is it better to make up all the analytes at the same concentration, or vary their concentrations to trends you expect to see? (eg. I'd expect the Mg, Fe, Al and Ca content of the soils to be much larger than the seeds).


It’s generally a good rule of thumb to vary the element ratios in your standards to match those found in your samples. This can not only help ensure that the samples fall within the linear calibration range of the standards, but also helps account for matrix effects for samples measured at relatively high total-dissolved solid contents.

Serving you in chemistry,

Paul R. Gaines, Ph.D.
CEO of Inorganic Ventures & Fellow Chemist

DISCLAIMER: Advice offered by the chemists at Inorganic Ventures is intended for the individual posing the question. Feel free to contact us to verify whether these suggestions apply to your unique circumstances.