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Aerosols, Aerodynamics, and Atomic Analysis

Volume 32, Number 2 (April 1978) Page 181-187

Skogerboe, R.K.; Olson, K.W.


The suppression of atomic excitation in a microwave-induced plasma due to the presence of sodium has been studied for three different nebulization systems. Evaluation of the factors affecting this effect has shown that its occurrence depends on the nature of the analytical aerosol introduced and the aerodynamic features of the sample nebulization system. The results indicate that the sodium suppression effects observed can be largely accounted for by reductions in the analyte transport efficiency due to changes in the aerodynamic characteristics of the aerosol resulting from variations in the salt content of the nebulized solutions. It is further shown that these effects may be generally predicted on the basis of fluid mechanical principles and that these may be used to design systems to eliminate the interferences. The study under-scores the essentiality of considering aerodynamic factors in formulating mechanistic explanations for interference effects in flames and plasmas.