GDMS – Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry

Glow discharge mass spectrometry, is an analytical technique used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of chemical elements at concentration all concentration levels down to ppt range. It is a type of mass spectrometry that uses a glow discharge plasma to produce ions. These are extracted and accelerated into a double focused magnetic sector field where the ions are separated by their mass to charge ratio (m/z) which is characteristic of a particular element.

The samples form the cathode in an Argon glow discharge plasma chamber. The ignition of the plasma causes ejection of material (sputtering) from the sample. This material is atomized and ionized in the plasma and then analyzed by means of mass spectrometry.

Since the samples can be directly measured almost no preparation effort is needed. However, only electroconductive samples can be analyzed.


  • Analysis of alloy compositon
  • Contamination levels in high purity metals (Tungsten, Molybdenum)

Technical Specifications

Thermo Scientific - ELEMENT GD

  • Matrix to ultra-trace detection capabilities in a single scan
  • Mass range 2-260 u
  • Plug-in cone and anode parts for quick exchange eliminates the risk of cross contamination
  • Variable sputter rates for bulk analysis or depth profiling


Chemical and Physical Analytics

Chemical and Physical Analytics
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