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Microwave-supported Discharges

Volume 35, Number 4 (Aug. 1981) Page 357-371

Zander, A.T.; Hieftje, G.M.


A review is presented on the historical, fundamental, and practical aspects of microwave-induced plasmas (MIP) and their application to spectrochemical analysis. In particular, the mechanism of formation and stabilization of a microwave discharge is explored and possible excitation processes involving analyte atoms are described. Conditions under which a MIP can be operated are delineated and instrumentation necessary for MIP spectroscopy is described in detail. Methods for sample introduction into a MIP are reviewed and evaluated critically and the performance of MIP sources in real sample determinations is evaluated. Overall, the MIP appears to be a highly promising and under-utilized source in atomic spectrometry.