Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 30(2), 231 (2014).

A New Air-cooled Argon/Helium-compatible Inductively Coupled Plasma Torch
Hidekazu MIYAHARA,* Takahiro IWAI,* Yuki KABURAKI,* Tomokazu KOZUMA,* Kaori SHIGETA,** and Akitoshi OKINO*
*Department of Energy Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, J2-32, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori, Yokohama 226-8502, Japan
**Institute for Environmental Management Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba 305-8569, Japan
A new inductively coupled plasma (ICP) torch with an air-cooling system has been designed and developed for both argon and helium plasma. The same torch and impedance-matching network could be used to generate stable Ar- and He-ICP. The torch consists of three concentric quartz tubes. The carrier gas, plasma gas, and cooling gas flow through the intervals between each tube. In an experiment, it was found that Ar-ICP could form a stable plasma under the following conditions: RF power of 1 kW, plasma gas flow rate of 11 L min−1, and cooling gas flow rate of 20 L min−1. For He-ICP, an input RF power of 2 kW, which is two-times higher than that of a conventional He-ICP, could be constantly applied to the plasma with plasma gas and cooling gas flow rates of 15 and 20 L min−1, respectively. Using this torch, it is possible to realize lower plasma gas consumption for Ar- and He-ICP and a high-power drive for He-ICP. It has been found that the air-cooling gas stabilizes the shape of the plasma due to the pressure difference between the cooling gas and the plasma gas.