The Spectro Arcos ICP-OES spectrometer from Ametek Inc.’s Spectro Analytical Instruments unit uses electrothermal vaporization (ETV) for improved sensitivity in solid material analysis of pure metals and ceramics.
According to the company, typically with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, or ICP-OES, samples are first dissolved and then introduced to the instrument using a nebulizer. When using ETV, however, solid samples are vaporized in an oven with temperatures ranging to 3,000°C. The graphite vaporization chamber uses argon as the inert gas. After vaporization, the analyte is transported as a dry aerosol to the spectrometer with an argon/reaction gas stream.
ETV analysis is particularly suited for samples that are difficult to dissolve, the company says, eliminating the need to create solutions of ceramic materials, such as resistant silicon carbide, using time-consuming chemical digestion.