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Studies of Aerosols Generated by Electrically Vaporized Thin Films for ICP-AES

Volume 44, Number 3 (April 1990) Page 373-380

Brewer, Stephen W.; Trivedi, Ketan; Braid, Frederick I.; Sacks, Richard D.


Aerosols generated by the electrical vaporization of samples placed on thin silver films for subsequent introduction into an inductively coupled plasma have been examined. Of the silver ablated during electrical discharges, less than 10% is trapped on 0.1-micrometer pore-size filters placed at the end of the transfer tube. Much larger masses of carbona-ceous particulate material, up to 0.25 mg, are introduced into the ICP torch, possibly accounting for intense time-dependent band and continuum emission. Scanning electron microscopy of trapped particles of exploded film material shows evidence of melting. Particles of Mn and VC collected after film vaporization also show evidence of size reduction. The higher boiling point of VC may account for low emission intensities observed when larger particles of this material are taken as samples.