In this study we developed a dried-droplet method for laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The proposed method provides accurate and precise results when building calibration curves and determining elements of interest in real liquid samples. After placing just 1 μL of a liquid standard solution or a real sample onto the filter surface and then converting the solution into a very small, thin dry spot, the sample could be applied as an analytical subject for LA. To demonstrate the feasibility of this proposed method, we used LA-ICP-MS and conventional ICP-MS to determine the levels of 13 elements (Li, V, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, Cd, Sb, Tl, and Pb) in five water samples. The correlation coefficients obtained from the various calibration curves ranged from 0.9920 (205Tl) to 0.9998 ( 51V), sufficient to allow the determination of a wide range of elements in the samples. We also investigated the effects of Methylene Blue (MB) and the NaCl concentration on the elemental analyses. MB could be used as an indicator during the ablation process; its presence in the samples only negligibly influenced the intensities of the signals of most of the tested elements. Notably, high NaCl contents led to signal suppression for some of the elements. In comparison with the established sample introduction by nebulization, our developed technique abrogates the need for time-consuming sample preparation and reduces the possibility of sample contamination.
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