Fast, all-element ICP-MS detector for single particle analysis or laser ablation imaging

The icpTOF is an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) that connects a TOFWERK TOF mass analyzer to the source and interface hardware of a Thermo Scientific iCAP RQ. The iCAP RQ hardware offers a variety of sample entry options, as well as a strong ICP, better access to cones and lenses, and Q-cell functionality.

While retaining QMS-equivalent sensitivity, the TOF offers concurrent all-element identification, linear response, and mass resolving power >6000. The icpTOF is the appropriate ICP-MS detector for multi-element single particle analysis or fast laser ablation imaging, thanks to its high-speed mass spectral collection and concurrent evaluation of all isotopes.

  • All the elements. All the time. The icpTOF continuously records full mass spectra, ensuring that no analyte or interference signal is missed.
  • High mass resolution. The mass resolving power of the icpTOF 2R is 6000, helping users to distinguish conflicting ions.
  • Precise isotope ratios. The icpTOF detects all isotopes at the same time, removing the risk of the measurements being affected by source and sample fluctuations. Accuracy approaches statistical limits.
  • High-speeded detection. The icpTOF records a complete mass spectrum every 12-50 µs. It is the best detector for fast transient signals, including individual nanoparticles, fluid inclusions and laser ablation pixels.
  • Maximum sensitivity.  The icpTOF S2 offers the highest sensitivity, allowing it to improve picture resolution and identify tiny particles with a high signal-to-noise ratio.


icpTOF R, icpTOF 2R, and icpTOF S2 models

The TOFWERK time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzers are coupled to the source and interface hardware of a Thermo iCAP RQ by the icpTOF R, icpTOF 2R, and icpTOF S2. The enhanced performance levels allow for a wide range of implementations.

For applications requiring the extraction of challenging isobaric interferences, the high-resolution 2R is the best choice. The S2’s maximal sensitivity improves bioimaging spatial resolution and enables the identification of tiny particles with a high SNR.


  Mass Resolving Power
(ΔM/M at FWHM)
(cps/ppb for 238U)
All Element Analysis
icpTOF R 3000 50000 Yes
icpTOF 2R 6000 30000 Yes
icpTOF S2 900 300000 Yes


icpTOF hardware design

  • All icpTOF models comprise the iCAP RQ source and interface (blue) with Q-cell technology for suppression of matrix ions.
  • The icpTOF 2R’s TOF ion drift chamber (yellow) is two times longer than the icpTOF R’s, resulting in a doubling of mass resolving power.
  • The icpTOF S2 compact mass spectrometer captures entire mass spectra at the fastest possible speed, resulting in the finest possible time resolution and sensitivity.

Measuring isotopes quickly with icpTOF

Image Credit: TOFWERK

Notch filter technology to attenuate plasma and sample matrix ions

Measuring isotopes quickly with icpTOF

Signal of a laser ablation experiment on Zircon ‘Plesovice’ -naturally high in Hafnium content. Signal attenuation of notch filter set around mass 28 -Silicon, 40 -Ar-Plasma, 90 –Zircon, and 179 -Hafnium to keep plasma and matrix ion signals <10 mV. Image Credit: TOFWER