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Thermo Fisher Scientific

Poor Signal Stability


Poor signal stability


iCAP Qnova Series ICP-MS


To troubleshoot signal stability issues follow these steps:

  1. Check the signal stability in all measurement modes.
    1. If poor signal stability can be observed in all modes, proceed with step 2.
    2. If poor signal stability occurs in modes using the QCell pressurized with gas only, proceed with step 11.
  2. Make sure that the total dissolved solids level of the solution being aspirated is below the recommended levels.
  3. Make sure that the laboratory temperature is stable.
  4. Make sure that the temperature of the cooling water supplied to the instrument is stable.
  5. Make sure that the gas lines are securely connected, free from kinks, and not trapped.
  6. Make sure that the gas flow readback values in the Dashboard are stable.
  7. Make sure that the torch body is aligned correctly inside the torch holder.
  8. Make sure that the waste tubing is inserted in the waste vessel and above the waste level.
  9. Make sure that the pump speed of the peristaltic pump is stable.
  10. Make sure that the pressure in the vacuum system is stable.
  11. Check that all CCT/CR gas connections are okay.
  12. Run the system for approximately 30 minutes with gas flows set to fully purge and equilibrate the system.
  13. Run an autotune sequence.


  • Sample matrix can affect stability; especially if the nebulizer cannot form a stable aerosol.
  • System-related stability problems may occur if the % RSD values in the short term stability test in the Performance Report are higher than 2% when running a standard tune solution.



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