Types of power sources - atomic emission spectrometry:
Three types of power sources have been employed in argon plasma spectroscopy accordingly; there are three different kinds of plasmas. These are the direct current plasma (DCP) the inductively coupled plasma (ICP), and the microwave induced plasma (MIP). Those plasmas use radiofrequency, direct current and microwave radiation correspondingly as the power sources.
Argon gas is used as plasma gas in most of the plasma instruments. This is due to its inertness, whereby it does not form stable compounds with analyte elements, its simple emission spectrum that makes it optically transparent in the moderately low thermal conductivity, UV-visible region of the spectrum, or good natural abundance.
The essential components of a plasma based atomic emission spectrometer are plasma source, a nebuliser, a monochromator, a detector and a processing and readout device. In a typical AES determination the sample is prepared by using acid dissolution method or dry attack method and is inserted into the plasma source with the help of a suitable nebuliser. The spectral emission is suitably resolved, detected, processed and utilised for qualitative and quantitative determinations.