Atomic Echo


Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry

Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry (GDMS) is a very sensitive and robust analytical tool for monitoring elemental compositions and impurities in materials down to trace and ultra-trace mass fraction levels. It is a high resolution mass spectrometric technique, which is based on glow discharge atomization/ionization source combined with sector-field mass analyzer. Besides full survey elemental coverage, depth specific distributions of elements can be evaluated with very high sensitivity if measurements are conducted in flat sampling geometry.

Unknown or unwanted impurities in materials often cause “irritating” distractions for materials scientists or engineers. Thus, higher purity materials are preferred in order to eliminate unwanted defects, which could affect performance, reliability, lifetime and safety in general. On the other hand, intentionally added impurities into materials can introduce energy levels previously not assessable by electrons, photons, phonons, atoms and molecules, thus creating vast opportunities for discovering new phenomena for property tailoring. GDMS is a powerful tool for impurity analysis.


Ideal Uses of GDMS

  • Full survey analysis of advanced materials (metals, alloys, graphite, electronic materials, oxides and ceramics)
  • Purity certification up to 99.99999% (7N)
  • Depth specific trace and ultra-trace distribution measurements
  • Traceability of unknowns from limited amount of samples
  • Chemical characterization of particulate materials and engineering coatings


  • Full survey of all stable isotopes, except H
  • Parts per billion sensitivity
  • Limited matrix effects
  • Linear calibration
  • Robustness
  • Depth specific distribution measurements of analytes with high sensitivity


  • No liquids
  • Vacuum stability

GDMS Technical Specifications

  • Signals Detected: Mass resolved positive ions
  • Elements Covered: All stable isotopes of elements, except H
  • Sensitivity: parts per billion or ppbw
  • Typical Sampling Areas: 50-80 mm2

Atomic Echo Labs Materials Science is the industry leader for Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry (GDMS) analytical services with the largest number and variety of GDMS instruments installed. Our depth and breadth of experience and dedication to innovative analytical methods is unrivaled.

Atomic Echo