5 years ago

Chemical generation of volatile species of copper – Optimization, efficiency and investigation of volatile species nature

Chemical generation of volatile species of copper – Optimization, efficiency and investigation of volatile species nature
This work is a comprehensive study on chemical generation of volatile species (VSG) of copper for analytical atomic spectrometry. VSG was carried out in a flow injection mode in a special arrangement of the generator. Atomization in a diffusion flame atomizer (DF) with atomic absorption spectrometry detection was mostly used for VSG optimization. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was utilized to investigate generation efficiencies and feasibility of VSG system for ultratrace analysis. Concentration of individual reagents, namely of nitric acid, sodium tetrahydroborate and various reaction modifiers, was optimized with respect to generation efficiency. Triton X-100 and Antifoam B were chosen as the best combination of the modifiers owing to sixfold increase in sensitivity, decrease of tailing of measured signals and long-term repeatability. The addition of 500 μg L−1 of Ag was found crucial to maintain identical generation efficiency at low concentrations of Cu. This phenomenon was ascribed to the change in the size of generated species. The release and generation efficiency were accurately determined as 56–58 and 31–32%, respectively. The contribution of co-generated aerosol to release and generation efficiency measured by means of Cs and Ba was found negligible, only 0.40 and 0.13%, respectively, which underlines highly efficient VSG of Cu. The nature of volatile species was investigated by various approaches. The results cannot provide the decisive evidence. However, experiments with the DF, ICP-MS and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicate that the generated species are not volatile in the true sense but that they are strongly associated with fine aerosol co-generated during VSG. Cu clusters or nanoparticles of very small size (< 10 nm) are presumed but the formation of metastable copper hydride cannot be conclusively excluded.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0003267017305822

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