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Published on Mar 14, 2019
Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) has become the leading technology for routine analysis of liquid samples as well as materials that can be easily turned into a liquid form by dissolution or digestion. Its origin lies in so-called spectroscopes and spectrographs that allow visual evaluation of spectral lines on a film, which required much experience and time in order to obtain reliable results. The developments in electronics and data processing allowed instruments to appear on the market in the middle of the 1970s which helped overcome these obstacles and enable the routine use of optical emission spectroscopy in laboratories.
During the last decades, ICP-OES has seen dramatic improvement. While the first commercially available instruments relied on time consuming sequential measurements or had limited availability of emission lines due to the use of Photomultiplier Tubes (PMT), today's systems are able to capture wide spectral areas simultaneously in a short time thanks to modern solid state detector technology.
The video presents an easy-to-understand introduction into the physics and the technology of an optical emission spectrometer.