A Novel ICP Torch with Conical Geometry
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This paper presents the development of a novel radio-frequency inductively coupled plasma (RF-ICP) torch. Computer simulations and experiments were employed to investigate the underlying phenomena which led to improved excitation temperature, electron density, robustness, and multielement detection limits of a new analytical ICP torch. Due to its conical geometry, compared to conventional torches, the new torch consumes 50–70% less argon and power. Additionally, the new torch has higher power density, better plasma stability, and better resistance against extinguishing factors. A comparison of time-lapse images of conventional and conical torches shows an enhancement in the plasma ignition process for the new torch. In agreement with simulations, spectroscopic measurements demonstrate that the new torch offers 1200 K higher excitation temperature compared to the conventional torch for the same power input. These improvements result in faster ionization/excitation of the sample particles as shown by the simulation results. In combination with improved particle trajectories inside plasma, this feature is expected to allow higher rates of analysis in single-particle ICP-mass spectrometry with improved sensitivity and accuracy.
KeywordsConical ICP torch Single-particle ICP-MS Sample residence time Analytical chemistry
Financial support of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada is gratefully acknowledged.
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