Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas has more than 30 years of experience in trace element analysis. He is the principal of his own freelance writing and scientific consulting company, Scientific Solutions, based in Gaithersburg, MD.


Impact of Measurement Protocol on ICP-MS Data Quality Objectives: Part I

October 01, 2021

The way the analytical signal is managed in ICP-MS has a direct impact on the results generated. In this first of a two-part series, we explain the fundamental principles of a scanning quadrupole and how measurement protocols can be optimized based on data quality objectives.

Multi-Quadrupole ICP-MS: Pushing Limits of Detection to the Next Decimal

September 01, 2020

For a number of elements, spectroscopic interferences can have a significant impact on the ability to achieve low detection limits in ICP-MS. We investigate the mechanisms in multi-quadrupole ICP-MS that are designed to remove these interferences.

Handheld X-ray Diffraction for Remote, Field-Based Applications

July 01, 2015

This installment describes the development of two novel X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques that enable the rapid analysis of samples using handheld instrumentation for remote applications. Both techniques can be applied to unprepared samples in the field, which is a highly favorable characteristic in many applications since the time required for laboratory-based sample preparation is avoided.

Determining Elemental Impurities in Pharmaceutical Materials: How to Choose the Right Technique

March 01, 2015

This installment evaluates the application requirements for the determination of 15 elemental impurities in pharmaceutical materials as described in the new United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapters and and offers suggestions about which atomic spectroscopic technique might be the most suitable to use.