Abstract

A novel, simple device for the production of liquid aerosol has been constructed and evaluated. In operation of this device, a sample solution is forced under pneumatic or mechanical pressure through an orifice of 25-60 micrometers in diameter. The resulting high-velocity stream of solution is directed onto a solid surface, thereby generating a fine aerosol. Details of nebulizer construction and operation are discussed and factors affecting nebulizer performance are examined. The utility of this nebulizer as a sample-introduction device for inductively coupled plasma spectrometry is explored. When coupled with an ICP, the jet-impact nebulizer compares favorably with a conventional pneumatic nebulizer in terms of precision, linearity, detection limits, and efficiency. Moreover, aerosol production is independent of any gas flow, making the device potentially useful in low-gas-flow plasmas. However, clogging of the nebulizer orifice with particulate matter can be a problem unless solutions are pre-filtered.

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