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The Effect of Propane on Atomic Spectrometric Signals in the Direct-Current Plasma

Volume 42, Number 3 (April 1988) Page 390-394

McCreary, Terry W.; Long, Gary L.


The addition of small amounts of propane to the direct-current plasma (DCP) affects the emission signal of analyte species in the plasma. In the normal analytical region of the plasma, a reduction in emission is seen; this reduction can be accounted for by a decrease in excitation temperature caused by the propane in this region of the plasma. Above the analytical region, an enhancement in atomic emission is seen. The excitation temperature in this region of the plasma was found to remain unchanged when propane was added. The mechanism for the enhancement is thought to be the reduction of metal oxides to the corresponding free metal by carbon. Evidence for the mechanism is provided by recognition of the fact that a large reservoir of atomic carbon exists in this region of the plasma and by examination of the behavior of slurries of the metal oxides, introduced into the plasma via a Babington nebulizer.