Observation of Atom and Ion Clouds Produced From Single Droplets of Sample in Inductively Coupled Plasmas by Optical Emission and Laser-Induced Fluorescence Imaging

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An instrument to obtain optical emission and laser-induced fluorescence images of atom or ion clouds, each produced from isolated, monodisperse droplets of sample in an inductively coupled plasma, is described. An excimer laser pumped dye laser is used to produce a large (28-mm X 24-mm) beam for saturated fluorescence from atoms or ions throughout a large portion of the ICP. An intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) detects optical emission or laser induced fluorescence snapshot images at the focal plane of an aberration-corrected slitless spectrograph. Images produced from a single laser pulse can be detected. Double-exposure emission images with 1- mu s gate times can be acquired to monitor the movement of atom or ion clouds produced from a single droplet of sample solution. Variations in the number of atoms or ions produced as a function of time (or height) in the plasma can be monitored. Excitation in the plasma can be assessed from ratios of emission to fluorescence intensities.
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