A high-powered, microwave-induced air plasma (air-MIP) generated by an Okamoto cavity at atmospheric pressure was investigated and compared with a nitrogen plasma (N2-MIP) generated by the same cavity under the same conditions. The analytical performance of the plasmas was evaluated and compared with regard to excitation temperatures, electron-number densities, detection limits and tolerance to direct organic solvent introduction. The excitation temperature of the air-MIP was in the range of 4150-4750 K when the microwave power varied from 0.8 to 1.3 kW, which was 300-400 K lower than those of the N2-MIP. The electron number densities in the air-MIP ranged from 1 to 6 × 1014 cm-3, which was about one order of magnitude higher than those of the N2-MIP. The detection limits for 17 elements with a total of 38 atomic and ionic lines were determined. For most of the spectral lines with lower excitation energies, the detection limits obtained from the air-MIP were comparable with those obtained from the N2-MIP, whereas for those spectral lines with higher excitation energies, the detection limits in the air-MIP were much poorer than those in the N2-MIP. Preliminary experiments showed that the air-MIP was highly tolerant to direct organic solvent introduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry