What is an ICP?

An ICP uses a high temperature Argon plasma to analyze element concentrations in liquid solutions. The CNR ICP is an optical emission (OES) system and uses the light emission from the high temperature excitation of the atoms to determine their concentration. Applications include plant elemental analysis, soil extracts, silicon chip analysis, nanoparticles, rock fusions to name just a few. Here is a list of usable elements with detection limits.


College of Natural Resources
123 Hilgard Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-3110


Perkin Elmer 5300 DV optical emission ICP with auto sampler. The ICP has a standard nebulizer system. For certain applications a flow injection system with hydride generation ability, and an ultrasonic nebulizer for enhanced detection limits are available.  The instrument instructions can be downloaded here.

Capability and Throughput:  The ICP can measure up to at least 21 different elements simultaneously. Users should estimate between 6 and 12 samples per hour plus a half hour warm up of the instrument.

Recharge rate:

UC users: users who are affiliated with the University of California and Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory will be charged at a flat rate of $58 per hour while the plasma is on.  In order to use the facility, the user must fill out a ICP recharge authorization form .

Non-UC users:   users who are not affiliated with the University of California and Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory will be charged at a flat rate of $110 per hour, including the Administrative Full Cost of 56.5%.  In order to use the facility, a service agreement must be completed.  Potential users need to contact ICP Facility Manager Wenbo Yang to begin the process.

Availability & Use

The ICP is available for use by all faculty, graduate students, postdocs, researchers and staff within the University of California system and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Contact Wenbo Yang  or Andy Yang for a half-hour meeting to discuss your ICP application. If your application is feasible with the facility's instrument then the user and Wenbo Yang or Andy Yang will reserve a day on the ICP for initial training and method development.  The users are required to read the user's guide.  The user will bring in their samples and standards they have made up from the facility stock solutions, and be trained and develop their method of analysis. 

For safety reasons, users must complete the online "EHS101 - Fundamentals of Lab Safety Training" offered by EH&S.  Details can be found on the online CHP component.  Users may only access the ICP Facility during normal building hours of Hilgard Hall:

Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Contact Information

Wenbo Yang, facility manager
e-mail: wenbo@berkeley.edu
Phone: (510)643-1748

Andy Yang, backup facility manager
e-mail: andyang@berkeley.edu
Phone: (510)643-9171

Dr. Garrison Sposito, Faculty Director