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Elemental Analysis at Carleton: Integration of the ICP-MS Into Courses to change the title use the 'Full Editing Tools' option on the right

Deborah Gross, Chemistry, Carleton College
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Project Description

Carleton is in possession of a new ICP-MS instrument (Thermo iCap Qc), funded by HHMI and department funds from Chemistry, Geology, ENTS, and the Dean's Office. The instrument is installed in Mudd B66a and is still in the process of being set up (this means that it runs, but so far it hasn't exhibited the stability that we hope to see; the vendor and I are involved in troubleshooting). The instrument is capable of trace analysis of essentially any element on the periodic table (with a few exceptions on the light end), provided that samples are prepared correctly. Setting up experiments with this instrument is relatively complex and requires planning of a kind that is different that what is required for other instruments which we have available. As a result, once the instrument is stable, it will not be straightforward for everyone who wants to use it to design their experiments and learn to run the instrument on their own.
To this end, I would like to request 2 weeks of support ($2000) for summer 2013 to work on method development for or with faculty whose research or teaching will be enhanced by the addition of trace elemental analysis. If the budget extends far enough to support supplies, I would like to request $500 - $1000 to put towards purchasing Ar gas for these experiments (one ICP-MS grade Ar cylinder will support ~ 8 hours of instrument run-time and costs $180.50), so that users are not required to purchase their own and so that the Chemistry Department, which is currently paying 100% of the Ar costs, doesn't need to support this method development effort.


Note that my students are faculty members who I will be training to use the ICP-MS instrument. I want the faculty members to:
1) Know how to safely and properly run the ICP-MS instrument, and be confident in training their own students as appropriate.
2) Be able to design experiments using the correct quality controls and standard solutions to be able to get meaningful data from their measurements.
3) Understand the aspects of the data which require more sophisticated analysis in order to get meaningful results, and understand the basis for these more sophisticated approaches.
4) Be able to integrate these ideas into the development of laboratory exercises for their own courses and research projects.
5) Know when they can solve their own instrument/experiment-related problems and when they need to ask for help.


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