Two cyclone spray chambers of different sizes are evaluated for inductively coupled plasma/atomic emission spectrometry. On the basis of a simplified mathematical model, the cut-off diameters of the aerosol droplets are estimated to be 2.2 to 4.3 and 1.8 to 3.5 μm for the large and the small cyclones, respectively. The sample consumption rate can be reduced to about 50 μL/min when the cyclone chamber is used in a recycling mode. In general, the signal-to-background ratios, detection limits, and precisions of the analyte signal intensities obtained with the small cyclone chamber are slightly superior to those achieved with a Scott spray chamber and a recycling gravitational sedimentation chamber. The performance of the recycling cyclone chamber is also evaluated for the determination of copper in the NBS freeze-dried urine.

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