Optimized transport setup for high repetition rate pulse-separated analysis in laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Analytical chemistry. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 4241-4248
University of Antwerp
An optimized laser ablation setup, proposed for high repetition rate inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) analyses such as 2D imaging or depth profiling, is presented. For such applications, the particle washout time needs to be as short as possible to allow high laser pulse frequencies for reduced analysis time. Therefore, it is desirable to have an ablation setup that operates as a laminar flow reactor (LFR). A top-down strategy was applied that resulted in the present design. In the first step, a previously applied ablation setup was analyzed on the basis of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results presented by D. Autrique et al. (Spectrochim. Acta, B 2008, 63, 257−270). By means of CFD simulations, the design was modified in such a way that it operated in the LFR regime. Experimental results demonstrate that the current design can indeed be regarded as an LFR. Furthermore, the operation under LFR conditions allowed some insight into the initial radial concentration distribution if the experimental ICPMS signal and analytical expressions are taken into account. Recommendations for a modified setup for more resilient spatial distributions are given. With the present setup, a washout time of 140 ms has been achieved for a 3% signal area criterion. Therefore, 7 Hz repetition rates can be applied with the present setup. Using elementary formulas of the analytical model, an upper bound for the washout times for similar setups can be predicted. The authors believe that the presented setup geometry comes close to the achievable limit for reliable short washout times.