Rugged, Portable Tungsten Coil Atomic Emission Spectrometer
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Tungsten coil atomic emission spectrometry is an ideal technique for field applications because of its simplicity, low cost, low power requirement, and independence from cooling systems. A new, portable, compact design is reported here. The tungsten coil is extracted from an inexpensive 24 V, 250 W commercial light bulb. The coil is housed in a small, aluminum cell. The emission signal exits from a small aperture in the cell, while the bulk of the blackbody emission from the tungsten coil is blocked. The resulting spectra exhibit extremely low background signals. The atomization cell, a single lens, and a hand-held charge coupled device (CCD) spectrometer are fixed on a 1 x 6 x 30 cm ceramic base. The resulting system is robust and easily transported. A programmable, miniature 400 W solid-state constant current power supply controls the temperature of the coil. Fifteen elements are determined with the system (Ba, Cs, Li, Rb, Cr, Sr, Eu, Yb, Mn, Fe, Cu, Mg, V, Al, and Ga). The precision ranges from 4.3% to 8.4% relative standard deviation for repetitive measurements of the same solution. Detection limits are in the 0.04 to 1500 mu g/L range. Accuracy is tested using standard reference materials for polluted water, peach leaves, and tomato leaves. For those elements present above the detection limit, recoveries range from 72% to 147%.