Simulation and experimental studies on plasma temperature, flow velocity, and injector diameter effects for an inductively coupled plasma
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Analytical chemistry. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 9260-9266
University of Antwerp
An inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is analyzed by means of experiments and numerical simulation. Important plasma properties are analyzed, namely, the effective temperature inside the central channel and the mean flow velocity inside the plasma. Furthermore, the effect of torches with different injector diameters is studied by the model. The temperature inside the central channel is determined from the end-on collected line-to-background ratio in dependence of the injector gas flow rates. Within the limits of 3% deviation, the results of the simulation and the experiments are in good agreement in the range of flow rates relevant for the analysis of relatively large droplets, i.e., 50 μm. The deviation increases for higher gas flow rates but stays below 6% for all flow rates studied. The velocity of the gas inside the coil region was determined by side-on analyte emission measurements with single monodisperse droplet introduction and by the analysis of the injector gas path lines in the simulation. In the downstream region significantly higher velocities were found than in the upstream region in both the simulation and the experiment. The quantitative values show good agreement in the downstream region. In the upstream region, deviations were found in the absolute values which can be attributed to the flow conditions in that region and because the methods used for velocity determination are not fully consistent. Eddy structures are found in the simulated flow lines. These affect strongly the way taken by the path lines of the injector gas and they can explain the very long analytical signals found in the experiments at low flow rates. Simulations were performed for different injector diameters in order to find conditions where good analyte transport and optimum signals can be expected. The results clearly show the existence of a transition flow rate which marks the lower limit for effective analyte transport conditions through the plasma. A rule-of-thumb equation was extracted from the results from which the transition flow rate can be estimated for different injector diameters and different injector gas compositions.