Introduction to the ICP-OES Short Course


This course aims at giving a quick overview of the basics of ICP-OES as an analytical technique. It will cover all the aspects normally found in and BSc Hons course on ICP-OES but not to the same depth. The focus would be to inform and create awareness with the ICP-OES user on what lies behind the pretty shining plasma. A user who is aware of what is happening to his sample in order to produce a result, is a user who will pay attention to detail and not make silly mistakes in handling his sample or not take shortcuts in preparing his calibration which will only lead to useless information generated on a very expensive piece of equipment. Various ICP-OES sample preparation techniques will also be discussed in order to help the learners understand better the quality of the results they are getting.

Learner participation will be widely welcomed to ensure that each participant will benefit from a personal and relevant enrichment of his/her knowledge of ICP-OES.

Course content includes:



  • What can ICP-OES do?
  • OES vs AAS
  • What is emitting?
  • Emission sources
  • Sample Introduction
  • Spectrometer types
  • Optimization of parameters
  • Analytical performance - Detection limits, Working range, Accuracy
  • Calibration and causes of drift
  • Spectral interference and Line selection


Due to the need for every solid sample to be brought into solution before being analysed on the ICP-OES, the presenters felt that sample digestion forms an integral part of the course and an overview of the most commonly used sample digestions techniques will be discussed. Three of these most commonly used sample digestion techniques:

  • Heating with aqueous strong acids(open vessel and a microwave)
  • Fusion with alkali salts
  • High temperature ignition in air or oxygen

will be discussed, together with their advantages and limitations. Each technique will be discussed using some examples such as refractory ores, coal, pure metals, PGM prils etc. Attendees will also have an opportunity to be introduced to some of the technological advances in the digestion procedure such as semi-automated digestion of PGM prils.


Course presenters


Dr Johann Fischer

Sasol Group Technology, R&T – Analytics

Johann Fischer is a passionate member of SASS and has served on the SASS Committee for many years, currently he is the Secretary of SASS. He would like to see SASS grow to a leading force that promotes Spectroscopy in all its forms in South Africa by educating its members and providing a platform of mutual communication and networking.

Johann was born and schooled in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied Chemistry at the University of Pretoria. He completed a MSc on metal determination in wax by hot nebulisation into an ICP-OES in 1993, and obtained his PhD in 1997 on the Kinetics of Se atomization in GF-AAS, both under the supervision of Prof Cor Rademeyer. He joined the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) as lecturer in Chemistry in 1994 and continued teaching General and Analytical Chemistry there (later UJ). During his tenure as Senior lecturer his research focused on basic and applied research in Analytical Chemistry involving the techniques of ICP-OES, ICP-MS and other atomic spectroscopy. Specific research themes included environmental, geological and agricultural applications.

He undertook a sabbatical to the labs of Prof Frank Vanhaecke at the University of Gent, Belgium in 2001, where he gained experience in operating different ICP-MS instruments and did research on determining the lead isotope ratio's in Roman bone samples and soil samples using a high resolution ICPMS instrument. He supervised 7 MSc graduates, 1 PhD (co-supervisor) and 1 PhD student, published 12 research papers and presented at various national and international conferences. He left academia in 2007 and currently holds a position as Manager of Spectroscopy at Sasol’s Research and Technology section in Sasolburg, where he leads a group of 7 scientists. His current works mainly involves elemental analysis in organic media and solids catalysts where he employs ICP-OES, ICP-MS, GF-AAS and XRF techniques.


Dr Ljiljana Marjanovic

SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Geochem division

Coming from Serbia in 1998 with an MSc in Organic Chemistry, she settled in RSA doing what she loves most, being an analytical chemist. She has obtained her Doctorate in Analytical Chemistry at Tshwane University of Technology (under Prof R I McCrindle supervision on slurry analyses ICP-OES) and worked in industry (commercial labs WPU, SGS) for few years before moving to the University of Johannesburg where she was employed as a Senior lecturer in Analytical Chemistry. Ljiljana is currently back in industry employed at SGS as technical specialist but still keeping close ties with the academia.

Her research interest in atomic spectroscopy is in the TXRF and HRCSAAS techniques, (both being relatively new in RSA) with the special emphases on the direct analysis of samples avoiding or shortening the sample preparation time. Her current job is about the method development, training, supervision, auditing and ensuring good quality of data in the fields of ICP-OES, ICP-MS, AAS, LECO and Wet-chemistry methods.


Registration closes on Monday 16 July 2018.

Delegate Cost: R 1499.00

Full-time Student Cost: R 1150.00

Cost includes VAT, course handouts, light lunch, tea and coffee

Date:     Thursday 26 July 2018

Time:     10:00 - 17:00

Venue:   Casa Toscana Guesthouse, Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA


Map to the course venue

Casa Toscana Guesthouse, Pretoria

Feel Free to Contact Us

Event Organiser - Carlamani Conferences and Events