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Fourier Deconvolution of Overlapping Line Pairs in Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry

Volume 43, Number 1 (Jan. 1989) Page 96-103

van Veen, Eric H.; Goudzwaard, M. Pieter; de Loosvollebregt, Margaretha T.C.; de Galan, Leo

A deconvolution procedure utilizing Fourier transformation has been developed to reduce line overlap in ICP-AES. Line broadening is caused by physical processes and by instrumental broadening. Convenient deconvolution, however, turns out to be restricted to broadening common to the emission lines in the spectral window, i.e., to instrumental broadening. Deconvolution for the "true" instrumental broadening function and for a Gaussian approximation to this function yields similar results, but the former allows for fast automated data processing with regard to any spectral region and sample composition. A straightforward procedure is reported for the determination of this function independent of wavelength. At the present noise level, a twofold reduction in linewidth can be achieved for emission lines having a small physical width in comparison to the instrumental width. With data acquired from both a high- and a medium-resolution monochromator, results from overlapping line pairs show linear analytical curves and improved detection limits. Due to the decrease in signal-to-noise ratio on deconvolution, the detection limits measured for isolated lines cannot be attained.