Patent Number: 6,166,379

Title: Direct injection high efficiency nebulizer for analytical spectrometry

Abstract: A simple, relatively low-cost direct injection high efficiency nebulizer (DIHEN) is suitable for argon inductively coupled plasma (Ar ICP) spectrometry. The DIHEN may be operated at solution uptake rates of 1-100 .mu.L/min. Analytical performance indices for the DIHEN and fundamental characteristics of the aerosol produced are obtained using an ICP mass spectrometer (ICPMS) and a 2-dimensional phase Doppler particle analyzer (2D PDPA), respectively. Results are compared to those obtained with a conventional crossflow pneumatic nebulizer (PN), equipped with a Scott-type spray chamber. Droplet sizes and velocities produced with the DIHEN are smaller than those reported for the direct injection nebulizer (DIN). The DIHEN offers optimal sensitivity at low injector gas flow rates (approx. 0.25 L/min) and high RF power (approx. 1.5 kW). For the 17 elements tested, detection limits (ppt) and sensitivities achieved with the DIHEN (at 85 .mu.L/min) are similar to or better than those obtained on the same instrument using the PN (at 1 mL/min). However, because the primary aerosol is injected directly into the plasma, oxide-to-metal ion ratios (MO.sup.+ /M.sup.+) are high as in the case of the DIN. The utility of the DIHEN for the analysis of small volume samples is demonstrated by microscale flow injection analysis (.mu.FIA) of Cr bound to human lung DNA. Detection of Cr at the femtogram level is feasible.

Inventors: Montaser; Akbar (Potomac, MD), McLean; John A. (Upper Arlington, OH), Kacsir; Jerold M. (Trabuco Canyon, CA)

Assignee: George Washington University

International Classification: G01N 21/71 (20060101); H01J 49/04 (20060101); H01J 49/02 (20060101); H01J 049/04 (); G01J 003/10 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017