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Thermo Fisher Scientific

iCAP Q Vacuum to Operate State


What steps does the iCAP Q software go through when changed from a Vacuum Ready state to an Operate state? 


  • iCAP Q
  • Qtegra


If you have ever wondered what your iCAP Q is doing when you place it from a Vacuum Ready state to an Operate state, these are the steps that the software goes through:

  1. Water Valve (WV3) is Opened and the flow through the RF Generator is checked. It must be > 1.8 l/min for a Type I Generator and > 0.23 l/min for a Type II Generator.

  2. All Gases are turned On to Purge the system (default time = 30 secs). The Cool gas must be greater than 5 l/min.

  3. Torch position is moved to the Ignite position of 8 mm.

  4. Nebulizer Gas is switched Off (default wait time = 20 secs) and must then fall below 0.1 l/min.

  5. The RF Generator is Enabled and Plasma Ignition checked.

  6. When Plasma On is sensed, the Cool Gas flow is increased to 12 l/min 

  7. Torch Position is moved to Normal sampling position of 5 mm.

  8. Backing Valve is Closed.

  9. Expansion Valve is Opened. The expansion region is now pumped via the Rotary pump. The Pressure is measured via the Pirani Gauge and must drop below 2.3 mbar (default value) within 25 seconds (default value) otherwise the process is aborted and the instrument returns to Vacuum Ready state.

  10. Five seconds (Default value) after the Expansion Pressure point is reached, the Backing Valve Opens.

  11. One second after the Backing Valve Opens, the Slide Valve Opens.

  12. Assuming that the Slide Valve is confirmed as being Open (via the sensors located on the valve assembly) within 1 second, the Lens and Detector board High Voltages are enabled via the HV Inhibit/Enable signal.

  13. Instrument is in Operate.


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