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Ichron Limited


An inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is defined as a type of plasma source in which the energy is supplied by electric currents which are produced by electromagnetic induction.

The two types of ICP machine used by Ichron are ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectrometry) and ICP-MS (Inductively coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry). ICP-OES involves measurement of wavelengths of light and is used to acquire data for major elements (e.g. Si, Ca, Mg, K, Fe) and high abundance trace elements (e.g. Zr, Sr, Ba). By contrast wavelengths of radiation are measured by ICP-MS, which is used to generate data for low concentration trace elements (e.g. Cs, Ta, U) and rare earth elements (e.g. La, Ce, Yb).

  • Employing a combination of ICP-OES and ICP-MS it is possible to generate data for c.50 elements in the range Na-U in the periodic table and to achieve detection limits as low as 1ppb.
  • The potential to correlate reservoir sections that are problematic using conventional methods due to the depositional setting or thermal degradation/dissolution
  • Capable of high resolution stratigraphy and applicable to all lithologies
  • Direct implications for provenance, weathering and diagenetic studies
  • Increasingly used to provide near ‘real-time’ data at wellsite (see Wellsite Chemical Stratigraphy)

Analysis can be performed on wet ditch cuttings, washed and dried ditch cuttings, sidewall core, core or outcrop samples, with all preparations undertaken in our own ‘in-house’ bespoke laboratory. Typically, projects can consist of up to 200 samples per well depending on the interval size and the required level of resolution.