Title

Extreme Sensitivity in Trace Element Detection

Abstract

A technique is demonstrated which can detect extremely low levels of trace elements. This technique uses multicolor, selective multiphoton ionization of a trace impurity species followed by ion-induced nucleation in a supersaturated vapor, which allows the detection of single ions at atmospheric pressures. The combination of these two processes has the potential for use in detection of a wide range of atmospheric contaminants at extremely low levels. This technique is demonstrated by the detection of mercury atoms at a concentration of less than 1 part per 1014 particles.

Department(s)

Physics

Keywords and Phrases

Atmospheric pressure; Impurities; Ionization; Mercury (metal); Trace analysis; Vapors; Multiphoton ionization; Trace elements

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0946-2171

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 1999 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

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