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 JAMP  Vol.7 No.11 , November 2019
Simulated and Experimental Study of Single Particle Measurement Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
Abstract: A droplet carrying particle is desolvation, vaporization, ionization, and diffusion in an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) to form a cloud of ions. It then is detected as a mass-spectrum peak of individual particle. The diameter of the particle is derived from its mass, which is calibrated using the peak area. This is the basic principle of measuring single particles using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). In this paper, a mathematical model describing single particles in plasma is investigated. This makes it possible to investigate the process and contributing factors of single particles measurement by ICP-MS. A series of processes are investigated, which include increasing the droplet temperature to the boiling point, desolvation of the droplets, increasing the particle temperature to the melting point, the particles are melted from a solid to the liquid, increasing the particle temperature to the boiling point, and particle vaporization. The simulation shows that both the atomic (ion) diffusion in the plasma and the incomplete vaporization of the particles are two important factors that limit the signal intensity of the particle’s mass spectrum. The experiment reveals that ICP-MS is very linear for Ag nanoparticles below 100 nm and SiO2 particles below 1000 nm. Both the simulation and experiment reveal the measurement deviation for large particles and that an increase of sampling depth can extend the diffusion time and cause signal suppression. The model can be used to study the mechanisms of monodispersed droplet or single-particle mass spectrometry, analyze the contributing parameters for single particle measurements by ICP-MS and provide a theoretical base for the optimization of single particle measurements in the practical application, such as nanoparticle devices, magnetic materials, biomedical materials additives and consumer products.
Cite this paper: Gong, Z. , Wang, Y. , Yang, R. , Yang, Y. , Jiang, X. and Sun, C. (2019) Simulated and Experimental Study of Single Particle Measurement Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 7, 2723-2737. doi: 10.4236/jamp.2019.711186.
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