2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Charaterization of a Thermospray Nebulizer for Sample Introduction into a Direct Current Plasma for Atomic Emission Spectroscopy
Olumuyiwa T. Sowunmi
Dr. David McCurdy, Faculty Mentor

Trace level elements play important roles in human health, the environment and in manufacturing. In order to measure these part-per-billion (ppb) elements, scientists require highly sensitive instrumentation. The Direct Current Plasma (DCP) is an emission spectroscopic method commonly used to determine trace level elements. The drawback of the DCP lies in introducing the sample into the plasma. Pneumatic nebulization (PN), the standard method of sample introduction, which can measure concentrations as low as 10 ppb, is not sufficient for many applications. Our objective is to design and characterize a thermospray nebulizer (TSP) sample introduction system to improve the limits of detection (LOD) of the DCP. Our current efforts to characterize the TSP-DCP instrument will be presented. Improvements in the sensitivity were observed, with LODs that were comparable to the PN. With further optimization of the TSP-DCP design and conditions, it is believed we will ultimately achieve sub-ppb LODs.

Keywords: atomic emission, atomic spectroscopy, DCP, elemental analysis, sample introduction

Topic(s):Chemistry

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 40-2
Location: VH 1010
Time: 2:30

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