Journal of analytical atomic spectrometry vol:11 issue:10 pages:937-941
Direct current glow discharge mass spectrometry can be used for the analysis of solid non-conducting samples by application of the secondary cathode technique. In the work reported, the thickness of this secondary cathode, a conducting diaphragm placed in front of the sample, was evaluated. Variation of the secondary cathode thickness results in a variation of the electrode configuration and of the discharge voltage required for stable atomization of the non-conductor, Both parameters were evaluated separately using conducting samples. Thickness and voltage were found to have an opposite effect on the sample signal intensity obtained and on the crater shape created. Generally, it could be concluded that, for the determination of elements at low concentrations in glass plates, a thin secondary cathode is preferable, but that the use of a thick secondary cathode results in a flatter crater profile, which is important for depth profiling.