The interface of a tungsten filament vaporization source with a direct-current plasma has produced significant improvement over other electrothermal vaporization plasma emission sources. A unique means of filament heating, using microprocessor control, is introduced. This allows temperature programming and the synchronization of the vaporization and data collection processes necessary to capture the transient analyte signals. The small dead volume, short interface distance, and rapid heating rates all contribute to the very narrow and rapidly appearing emission profiles. The mass detection limits are 80 fg Ca, 200 fg Cu, 90 fg Fe, and 200 fg Fe. These are among the lowest detection limits reported for thermal vaporization-plasma emission techniques. The copper concentration was determined in whole swine blood.
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