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Ion Kinetic Energy Determinations in Radio-Frequency Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry

Volume 49, Number 7 (July 1995) Page 917-926

Cable, Paula R.; Marcus, R. Kenneth


Radio-frequency glow discharge (rf-GD) sources produce an abundance of both atoms and ions. For the mass spectrometric application of the glow discharge technique, knowledge of the ion kinetic energies is required to optimize extraction and focusing of ions from the source region into the analyzer. This paper details kinetic energies experimentally determined with the use of the "retarding potential" method. For this study, the analyzer quadrupole of a double-quadrupole mass spectrometer was positively biased to act as a repeller. Ion kinetic energies (IKEs) determined for a variety of discharge and analyzer operating conditions ranged from 12.5 eV to 25.0 eV for 63Cu+. Kinetic energy measurements were confirmed from ion trajectory simulations and follow closely the experimental values for identical analyzer conditions and initial IKEs. Results of this study indicate that the conditions under which ions are formed (plasma conditions) affect IKEs and energy spreads to a greater extent than analyzer parameter variations. Different from atmospheric plasma sources, IKEs for rf-GD species do not vary as a function of ion mass/identity. Evidence is also given in support of a slight mass biasing owing to the transmission properties of double-quadrupole analyzers. The findings detailed herein demonstrate the effects of rf modulation on both ion kinetic energy values and distributions.