Title: Laser Enhanced Ionization of Mercury Atoms in an Inert Atmosphere with Avalanche Amplification of the Signal.
Citation: Analytical Chemistry vol. 69 p. 2232
Publication Year: 1997
JRC N°: JRC14890
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC14890
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A new method for laser enhanced ionization detection of mercury atoms in an inert gas atmosphere is described. The method, which is based on the avalanche amplification of the signal resulting from the ionization from a selected Tydberg level reached by a three-step laser excitation of mercury vapor in a simple quartz cell, can be applied to the determination of this element in various matrices by the use of conventional cold-atomization techniques. The overall (collisional + photoionization) ionization efficiency is investigated at different temperatures and the avalanche amplification effect is reported for Ar and P-10 gases at atmospheric pressure. It is shown that the amplified signal is related to the number of charges produced in the laser irradiated volume. Under amplifier-noise limited conditions, a detection limit of about 6 Hg atoms per laser pulse in the interaction region is calculated.
JRC Directorate:Joint Research Centre Historical Collection

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