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Characterization of a Modified, Low-Power Argon Microwave Plasma Torch (MPT) as an Atomization Cell for Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry

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A microwave plasma torch (MPT) has been newly modified and used as an atomization cell for atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS). The analytical performance of the MPT-AFS system has been characterized with hollow cathode lamps (HCLs) working in the pulsed mode as an excitation source and a pneumatic nebulizer for aqueous sample introduction. The method exhibits a relatively large dynamic range over at least three orders of magnitude in concentration and fairly good precision in a range from 0.42% (Zn) to 4.9% (Ag). It was found that observation height, microwave power, and plasma support-gas flow rate have an important influence on the performance of MPT-AFS. The detection limits obtained by the new MPT-AFS system are in a range from 0.25 (Cd) to 121 (As) ng/mL for ten elements examined. A comparison of MPT-AFS with other plasma AFS approaches suggests several advantages of the MPT source as an atomizer for AFS.

Keywords: Atomic fluorescence spectrometry; Atomization cell; Elemental determination; Microwave plasma torch; Pneumatic nebulizer

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, 130023, People's Republic of China; current address: CST-9, MS J514, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 2: Department of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, 130023, People's Republic of China

Publication date: August 1, 1995

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