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Vol. 130 (2010) No. 7 P 669-676




Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is widely used as an ionization or excitation source for elemental analysis. It is one of the most powerful tools because of its excellent sensitivity. Recent years, target of elemental analysis has been shifted to smaller samples such as nano-particles, biocells, etc. But conventional ICP is not suitable for these targets because it consumes large amount sample solution. To analyze small amount samples efficiently, we have developed and studied a microplasma source for elemental analysis. In this study, dc power supply was used to generate microplasma at first, but the analytical figure of merit was not enough high. The probable reason was plasma temperature and electron number density were lower than that of Ar-ICP. To improve the analytical performances, several types of power supplies are tested. It includes dc biased RF and dc biased pulse power supply. In order to evaluate the analytical performance of merit, the emission intensity from some typical elements and the fundamental plasma properties are measured. The excitation temperature of RF driven microplasma increases by 400 K at 30 W of RF input power. And the lower limit of halogens detection improves about 35% with pulse operation compared to dc.

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