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Thermo Fisher Scientific

Red Plasma Lit Indicator on the Qtegra Dashboard

Issue

The Plasma Lit indicator on the Dashboard of Qtegra is red.

Environment

iCAP Qnova Series ICP-MS

Resolution

When troubleshooting problems with plasma ignition or unexplained plasma shut-offs, examine the most recent Performance Reports to check for any changes in instrument settings. The instrument Log View of the Qtegra or Instrument Control program can also be useful.

To troubleshoot plasma ignition failures follow these steps:

  1. If a hardware interlock failure will not allow ignition, the plasma ignition process will either not start at all or automatically abort returning the instrument to a safe status. Check for any interlock error messages in the Log View.

  2. Make sure that the sample probe is in solution (for aqueous samples ONLY—for the analysis of organics, the plasma should be lit dry with the probe out of solution).

  3. Make sure that torch, injector tube and spray chamber do not contain any liquid. If the draining of the spray chamber is insufficient or blocked, liquid will fill up the spray chamber and extinguish the plasma. If the torch contains drops, the plasma will not light correctly.

  4. Check the gas lines: a. Make sure that the gas lines to the spray chamber and nebulizer are securely connected and are not damaged or blocked. b. If the argon gas has been changed recently, make sure that no leaks have been created and that all gas lines are flushed.

  5. Make sure that any solution transport tubing (for example, from the autosampler to the peristaltic pump or from the peristaltic pump to the nebulizer) is not damaged or blocked.

  6. Check nebulizer:

    1. Make sure that the nebulizer is not damaged or blocked.

    2. Make sure that the nebulizer is securely fastened (but do not overtighten!) inside the spray chamber.

  7. Check spray chamber:

    1. Make sure that the spray chamber is correctly aligned, that it is not damaged and that the drain is not blocked.

    2. Make sure that the waste line is properly connected to the spray chamber and that it is not damaged or blocked.

    3. Make sure that the elbow is correctly positioned between the spray chamber and torch and that it is not damaged or blocked.

  8. Check torch and injector:

    1. Make sure that the injector is properly inserted in the plasma torch assembly and not damaged or blocked.

    2. Make sure that the plasma torch is in good condition with no cracked or melted areas and that it is free from solid deposition.

    3. Make sure that the torch body is aligned correctly inside the torch holder.

    4. Make sure that the torch body O-ring is not damaged and that it is free from dirt.

  9. Check load coil:

    1. Make sure that the load coil is in good condition with no solid deposits.

    2. Check that the load coil is not bended. Check the coil using the supplied coil alignment tool. 

    3. Check for condensation at the load coil or the Teflon insulators plate that carries the load coil. If condensation has occurred, wipe the condensation water away with a clean tissue. 

  10. Make sure that the sample cone is in good condition (clean orifice, not blocked, seated correctly with mounting ring screwed in correctly) and that the sample cone gasket is not damaged.

  11. Make sure that the cooling water meets the conductivity requirements.

 

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