Reduction of argon consumption to < 2 L min-1 by gas recycling in inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry

Paul Tirk, Matthias Wolfgang, Helmar Wiltsche*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An innovative interface between the torch and the entrance optics for inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is proposed. This system is capable of collecting all argon which was initially supplied to the torch, cooling and cleaning it and feeding most of the argon back to the outer gas port of the torch. Thereby, the total argon consumption could be reduced from 14 to 1.4 L min–1 using a standard torch and without restricting the rf power. The excitation- and rotational temperature of the plasma were identical when comparing the traditional setup with the enclosed plasma interface. However, the limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantification (LOQ) of 27 elements investigated were degraded about 5-fold, though this fact can be expected to stem from a change of the observed zone in the plasma caused by the slight overpressure of 2000 Pa within the interface. Though the enclosed plasma interface was located close to the load coil, the rf power coupled to the interface was well below 1 W and no rf arcing was observed for two different rf generator designs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7352–7357
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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