A graphite furnace is successfully used as an atomizer in laser-enhanced ionization spectroscopy (LEI). The physical origin of the signals is discussed and a comparison is made with LEI measurements in a flame. Extremely small amounts of analyte atoms can be detected using this method. The reproducibility is good, there are almost no memory effects, and the signal output is linear with the amount of analyte over at least 5 orders of magnitude. The experimental results indicate that the method could become an attractive alternative for trace-element analysis.
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