The combination of an imaging polychromator and a two-dimensional charge-coupled device (CCD) detector can provide a simple, simultaneous, efficient means of acquiring spatial and spectral maps of emission sources. Extensive theoretical and experimental studies have been carried out to obtain a more fundamental understanding of the interaction between the source and analyte. Often, spatially and spectrally resolved wavelength information has been used to generate maps of various source characteristics, such as excitation temperature, electron density, and emission intensity, to gain further insight into energy transfer, ionization, and excitation processes. The interplay of these characteristics affects the optimal analytical viewing zone of an emission source and influences the design of future sources. To compose a complete description of the processes involved in plasma excitation, one must obtain the emission information for the entire source. This requirement is commonly performed by imaging a very small portion of an excitation source and translating either the source or the spectrograph—an approach that is time consuming and relies on the source remaining stable over the course of the experiment. Ideally, a technique that simultaneously acquires two-dimensional spatial and spectral information would be the preferred method; however, this approach has not yet been successfully carried out.

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