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Types of Fluorescence Transitions in Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry

Volume 26, Number 5 (Oct. 1972) Page 555-557

Omenetto, N.; Winefordner, J.D.


Since the discovery of atomic fluorescence as an analytical tool, various types of atomic fluorescence transitions have been utilized for analytical studies. Unfortunately, as a result of the rapid development of the technique, some confusion has resulted in the designation of atomic fluorescence transitions. Because of the possibility of increased confusion with the use of the tunable dye laser source which is capable of exciting many new atomic fluorescence transitions, we felt that a consistent terminology was needed for atomic fluorescence spectrometry. We have attempted to utilize, where possible, the terminology previously used by authors of atomic fluorescence papers and have identified a number of atomic fluorescence transitions not yet utilized for analytical studies. For example, there are basically five types of atomic fluorescence transitions: resonance fluorescence, in which the same lower and upper levels are involved in the excitation-deexcitation processes; direct line fluorescence, in which the same upper level is involved in the radiational excitation and deexcitation processes; stepwise line fluorescence, in which different upper levels are involved in the radiational excitation and deexcitation processes; sensitized fluorescence, where one species is excited (called the donor) and transfers excitation energy to an atom of the same or another species (called the acceptor), either of which deexcites radiationally; and multiphoton fluorescence, where two (or more) identical photons excite an atomic species which then radiationally deexcites.