Experiments were performed to study the influence of the volatility of a liquid sample on various sample introduction systems. The test element was iodine using NaI as a non-volatile species and CH3I as a volatile species. A direct injection nebulizer such as the DIHEN was compared to a micronebulizer associated with a cyclonic spray chamber. An ICP-MS was used for detection. A factor, K, was defined as the ratio of the 127I signal obtained for CH3I to that obtained for NaI. K values in the range 4–6 were obtained for a micronebulizer and a conventional nebulizer with spray chambers. Simple experiments showed that most of the explanation was related to evaporation of the aerosol in the spray chamber. When using a DIHEN, the K value was in the range 0.6–0.8, i.e., lower than unity, which would be the value if the DIHEN had fully eliminated the influence of the spray chamber. The departure from unity could not be explained by a change in the plasma characteristics and did not depend on the operating parameters, such as the carrier gas flow rate, the position of the nebulizer tip, or the spatial distribution of the sample.
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