Inductively coupled plasma/Fourier transform spectroscopy (ICP-FTS) has the potential to become an excellent combined technique for analytical atomic emission spectrometry. However, the noise performance and behavior of a Fourier transform spectrometer for the measurement of atomic emission spectra in the ultraviolet spectral region is not well understood or characterized. In this study the noise behavior of ICP-FTS is empirically evaluated. The key empirical measurement carried out is the evaluation of complete standard deviation and signal-to-noise ratio spectra (i.e., those parameters measured as a function of wavenumber). A study of these spectra, along with the corresponding emission spectra as a function of concentration and matrix, allows an assessment of noise distribution, multiplex advantage/disadvantage, the nature of the limiting noise, detection limits, and precision.

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