Introducing wet aerosols into the static high sensitivity ICP (SHIP)

Scheffer, Andy; Engelhard, Carsten; Sperling, Michael; Buscher, Wolfgang
August 2007
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Aug2007, Vol. 388 Issue 8, p1605
Academic Journal
A demountable design of the static high sensitivity ICP (SHIP) for optical emission spectrometry is presented, and its use as an excitation source with the introduction of wet aerosols was investigated. Aerosols were produced by standard pneumatic sample introduction systems, namely a cross flow nebulizer, Meinhard nebulizer and PFA low flow nebulizer, which have been applied in conjunction with a double pass and a cyclonic spray chamber. The analytical capabilities of these sample introduction systems in combination with the SHIP system were evaluated with respect to the achieved sensitivity. It was found that a nebulizer tailored for low argon flow rates (0.3–0.5 L min−1) is best suited for the low flow plasma (SHIP). An optimization of all gas flow rates of the SHIP system with the PFA low flow nebulizer was carried out in a two-dimensional way with the signal to background ratio (SBR) and the robustness as optimization target parameters. Optimum conditions for a torch model with 1-mm injector tube were 0.25 and 0.36 L min−1 for the plasma gas and the nebulizer gas, respectively. A torch model with a 2-mm injector tube was optimized to 0.4 L min−1 for the plasma gas and 0.44 L min−1 for the nebulizer gas. In both cases the SHIP system saves approximately 95% of the argon consumed by conventional inductively coupled plasma systems. The limits of detection were found to be in the low microgram per litre range and below for many elements, which was quite comparable to those of the conventional setup. Furthermore, the short-term stability and the wash out behaviour of the SHIP were investigated. Direct comparison with the conventional setup indicated that no remarkable memory effects were caused by the closed design of the torch. The analysis of a NIST SRM 1643e (Trace Elements in Water) with the SHIP yielded recoveries of 97–103% for 13 elements, measured simultaneously. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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