The operating characteristics of a number of recent, commercially available inductively coupled plasma (ICP) nebulizer designs have been compared. The operating characteristics studied included bulk efficiency, primary and tertiary aerosol production, and analyte response by ICP-AES. Several concentric glass nebulizers along with a slurry and a dual-platinum-grid nebulizer were investigated. In all cases, tertiary aerosol production was found to be the best indicator of the analytical performance of the nebulizer. Of the nebulizers studied, the dual-platinum-grid nebulizer was found to generate the largest quantity of aerosol and to possess the most compatible droplet-size distribution for use with an ICP.
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