Diane Beauchemin

Diane Beauchemin

Full Professor

Environmental & Analytical, Undergraduate Chair

Department of Chemistry

People Directory Affiliation Category

Chernoff Hall, CHE308 (office), CHE106/CHE338 (labs)
Department of Chemistry
90 Bader Lane
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Lab CHE106 Tel: 613-533-6000; ext. 77740
Lab CHE338 Tel: 613-533-6000; ext. 78256
Fax: 613-533-6669

Research Interests

My research efforts are focused on inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) and ICP optical emission spectrometry (OES) from both fundamental and application perspectives. Part of my research is devoted to understanding the remaining limitations of these techniques and to identify ways to alleviate them. This includes improvement of the sample introduction system, which is the Achilles’ heel of atomic spectrometry, so as to improve sensitivity without jeopardizing plasma robustness, and using a mixed-gas plasma instead of the standard Ar ICP to further increase robustness and simplify calibration.

The other important part of my research is devoted to expanding the range of application of ICPMS/OES to, for instance, geochemical exploration, risk assessment of food safety (see the figure below for the method used), characterization of nanoparticles, and forensic analysis.

Improvement to single particle ICPMS for the analysis of nanoparticles is being made using, for instance, flow injection, which offers several advantages (no need to measure the sample uptake rate, and measurement of the sample introduction efficiency is only required if the particle size distribution is required).

Electrothermal vaporisation coupled to ICPOES for direct analysis of minute samples is ideally suited for forensic analysis, as minute trace evidence is usually found at a crime scene. Methods being developed include the analysis of paint chips left in hit-and-run cases and the analysis of head hair (and other hair) to infer gender and ethnicity, which is invaluable when the hair has not root, as DNA analysis is then not possible. This approach is now being extended to anthropology by looking at mummies.


2019 Clara Benson Award Canadian Society for Chemistry
2018 Gerhard Herzberg Award*  Canadian Society for Analytical Sciences and Spectroscopy
2017 Maxxam Award*  Canadian Society for Chemistry
2017 Dedicated Service Award             Canadian Association of University Teachers (for QUFA)
2017 Honorable mention AMS Undergraduate Research Mentorship Award
2011 Live interview on my research LCGC & Spectroscopy 2011 Pittcon Theater, Atlanta
2001 Distinguished Service Award Spectroscopy Society of Canada
2001 2nd place Best Professor Award Chemistry class of 2001
1995 Senior Industrial Fellowship         NSERC
1992 1991 Maccoll Prize Organic Mass Spectrometry (journal) for best article that year: “Thermal Denaturation of some Proteins and its Effect on their Electrospray Mass Spectra”.
1989 Alan Date Memorial Award 1988 VG Elemental (for outstanding contribution to the field of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS)).
















Recent Publications:

Asfaw; W. MacFarlane,  D. Beauchemin, Preconcentration of noble metals on alumina prior to analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: application to geological samples, Anal. Chim. Acta, 1136 (2020) 151-156.

R. P Lamsal; A. Hineman; C. Stephan; S. Tahmasebi; S. Baranton; C. Coutanceau; G. Jerkiewicz; D. Beauchemin, Characterization of platinum nanoparticles for fuel cell applications by single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 1139 (2020) 36-41.

A. Williams, D. Beauchemin, Integrating instead of averaging signal intensity to simplify nanoparticle mass measurement by single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Anal. Chem., 92 (2020) 12778-12782.

R. Teuma-Castelletti,  D. Beauchemin, Direct analysis of wheat flour by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry with flow injection, slurry nebulization, and a mixed-gas plasma, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 2820-2825.

M. MacConnachie, M. Lapointe, E. Galiano, D. Beauchemin, Developing a method for the determination of sulphur and other elements in avian bones and slag using ETV-ICPOES, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 2487-2493.

A. Williams, A. Al Hejami,  D. Beauchemin, Methods to increase sample transport efficiency in single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry when analyzing nanoparticles, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 2165-2170.

L. Huang, D. Beauchemin, C. Dalpé, Effective Abatement of High Lead Level Contamination in a Forensic Firing Range via Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Spectroscopy, 35 (2020) 47-53.

R. Kandel, G. Schatte, G. Cheng, C. Palmer, D. Beauchemin, P. L. Wang, Stabilization and Solvent Driven Crystal-to-Crystal Transition between New Bismuth Halides, Inorg. Chem., 59 (2020) 7049-7055.

R.P. Lamsal, M. S. E. Houache, A. Williams, E. Baranova, G. Jerkiewicz, D. Beauchemin, Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry with and without flow injection for the characterization of nickel nanoparticles, Anal. Chim. Acta, 1120 (2020) 67-74.

A. Al Hejami, J. Burgener, M.J. Burgener, D. Beauchemin, How much aqueous sample can an inductively coupled plasma withstand?, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 1300-1305.

A. Al Hejami, M. J. Burgener, J. Burgener, D. Beauchemin, Total consumption infrared-heated sample introduction system for inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 1125-1130.

L. Miner, D. Beauchemin, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry coupled to cation exchange chromatography for the determination of trace nickel in alkaline electrolyte, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 1295-1299.

P. Maung, D. Beauchemin, Development of a method for the direct determination of fluorine in solid samples using electrothermal vaporization coupled to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 1097-1102.

K. Harrington, A. Al Hejami, D. Beauchemin, Use of a mixed argon-hydrogen-tetrafluoromethane carrier gas for the analysis of nickel materials by electrothermal vaporization coupled to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 35 (2020) 461-466.

J. Kofsky, D. Beauchemin, Improvement of the limits of detection for P, S and Ca nanoparticle size in the absence of dissolved analyte using a mixed-gas plasma in single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Spectroscopy, 35 (2020) 22-27.


I am co-PI on the first NSERC Discovery Frontiers project at Queen’s on the development of Ni electrocatalysts. The leader of this multi-institution project is Gregory Jerkiewicz. As the main Analytical Chemist on the team, my role is to characterize the materials produced by the team and assess their stability. This has resulted in collaborations with Elena Baranova (Ottawa University) and Daniel Guay (INRS). I also have a 5-year NSERC Collaborative Research and Development project with Activation Laboratories Ltd, which is jointly supported by OCE for the first two years, for improvements and development of new ICPMS-based methods.