A direct current capillary arc operating in argon at atmospheric pressure has been combined with a device which produces fine particles directly from the surface of a solid metal sample. The aerosol generator is a simple device in which the sample acts as the cathode of a dc arc discharge. Rapid movement of the cathode spot produces uniform sampling over a well-defined area. A flowing gas stream transports the aerosol particles to the capillary arc discharge. Reproducibility and analytical curves are shown for ten elements in low alloy, stainless, and tool steel samples, for total analytical times of 10 sec.

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