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This content will become publicly available on March 2, 2017

Title: Aerosol detection efficiency in inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

We used an electrostatic size classification technique to segregate particles of known composition prior to being injected into an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). Moreover, we counted size-segregated particles with a condensation nuclei counter as well as sampled with an ICP-MS. By injecting particles of known size, composition, and aerosol concentration into the ICP-MS, efficiencies of the order of magnitude aerosol detection were calculated, and the particle size dependencies for volatile and refractory species were quantified. Similar to laser ablation ICP-MS, aerosol detection efficiency was defined as the rate at which atoms were detected in the ICP-MS normalized by the rate at which atoms were injected in the form of particles. This method adds valuable insight into the development of technologies like laser ablation ICP-MS where aerosol particles (of relatively unknown size and gas concentration) are generated during ablation and then transported into the plasma of an ICP-MS. In this study, we characterized aerosol detection efficiencies of volatile species gold and silver along with refractory species aluminum oxide, cerium oxide, and yttrium oxide. Aerosols were generated with electrical mobility diameters ranging from 100 to 1000 nm. In general, it was observed that refractory species had lower aerosol detection efficienciesmore » than volatile species, and there were strong dependencies on particle size and plasma torch residence time. Volatile species showed a distinct transition point at which aerosol detection efficiency began decreasing with increasing particle size. This critical diameter indicated the largest particle size for which complete particle detection should be expected and agreed with theories published in other works. Aerosol detection efficiencies also displayed power law dependencies on particle size. Aerosol detection efficiencies ranged from 10-5 to 10-11. Free molecular heat and mass transfer theory was applied, but evaporative phenomena were not sufficient to explain the dependence of aerosol detection on particle diameter. Additional work is needed to correlate experimental data with theory for metal-oxides where thermodynamic property data are sparse relative to pure elements. Finally, when matrix effects and the diffusion of ions inside the plasma were considered, mass loading was concluded to have had an effect on the dependence of detection efficiency on particle diameter.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0584-8547; 640451
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Spectrochimica Acta. Part B, Atomic Spectroscopy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0584-8547
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States