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Issue 9, 2000
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Investigations of the effect of hydrogen in an argon glow discharge

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Clear evidence of the effects caused by hydrogen, introduced in different forms in an analytical glow discharge source (GDS) operated with argon, is presented for the different matrix elements copper, stainless steel, titanium, aluminium and silicon. When hydrogen is present even in small quantities in argon, not only are there significant changes in the emission line intensities of most elements (analyte and plasma species), but also new spectral features, such as emission bands of new compounds (hydrides of sputtered sample constituents) and a continuous background in the range ~220–440 nm. Moreover, the discharge current (the dependent parameter in our experiments) decreases with increasing hydrogen concentration. Different modes of hydrogen introduction, externally in gaseous form or sputtered as a sample constituent, cause very similar effects in terms of discharge current, line intensity (of analyte and plasma gas) and emission continua, which implies similar changes in the discharge processes in the two cases. The excitation of the hydrogen continuum appears to quench the population of the argon metastables (11.55 and 11.72 eV) and, consequently, other elementary processes in the plasma in which the argon metastables take part, but to a different extent for each analyte.

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Mar 2000, accepted on 28 Jun 2000 and first published on 04 Aug 2000

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B002367L
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2000,15, 1075-1080
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    Investigations of the effect of hydrogen in an argon glow discharge

    V. Hodoroaba, V. Hoffmann, E. B. M. Steers and K. Wetzig, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2000, 15, 1075
    DOI: 10.1039/B002367L

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