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February 1, 2013

Increasing the sensitivity of trace-element analysis

By using electrothermal vaporization (ETV) for sample introduction, this company has greatly improved the sensitivity of its Arcos ICP-OES spectrometer for material-analysis applications. Trials verify that detection limits can be improved by an order of magnitude. At much lower cost, ICP-OES penetrates the sensitivity range of glow-discharge sector field mass spectrometers, opening a new application area in solid material analysis for ICP-OES. Typically, ICP-OES samples are first dissolved and then introduced into the instrument using a nebulizer. With ETV, however, the solid samples are vaporized in an oven at temperatures of up to 3,000°C. The graphite vaporization chamber uses argon as the inert gas. After vaporization, the analyte is transported as a dry aerosol to the ICP instrument with an Ar/reaction-gas stream. Sample vaporization takes just 2 min. — Spectro Analytical Instruments GmbH, Kleve, Germany

www.spectro.com

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