The Laser Ablation ICP-MS system allows the determination of quantitative concentrations of almost all elements of the periodic table (from Li to U) in very small volume samples of mainly solid materials (1 to 400 micrometers craters). Many natural materials are chemically heterogeneous on small spatial scales and preserve important information about the processes and conditions that lead to their formation, and/or the ambient environmental conditions during their growth.
Common examples of applications include:
- The compositions of crystals of igneous rocks and ore deposits which preserve the records of conditions leading to volcanic eruptions and ore formation.
- Speleothems, corals, and microfossils that record climatic or oceanic conditions.
- Fish otoliths, scales and other parts that record aspects of their life history.
- Trace element concentration in materials of strategic importance.
- Various trace element concentration in organic tissues.