2002 Volume 42 Issue Suppl Pages S101-S105
The radio frequency (RF) powered source is the most stable and capable analytical source available for glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GD-OES). It allows the direct analysis of both conductive and non-conductive samples on the same source, without changing the source. Recent developments in RF generators and components have further improved the performance of these sources, and now allow the routine measurement of additional RF parameters such as applied voltage and DC bias voltage. Theoretical studies of the fundamental characteristics of the RF source are providing deeper understanding of how they work, and combined with the new measurement tools will lead to further improvements in analytical performance. Recent theoretical and experimental work on the RF plasma source will be presented. These studies will be illustrated with some recent applications: in metals analysis, plus a hard coating and a non-conductive coating.