American Chemical Society
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A Feasibility Study of Rare-Earth Element Vapor Generation by Nebulized Film Dielectric Barrier Discharge and Its Application in Environmental Sample Determination

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-12-10, 16:02 authored by Qian He, Xianxian Wang, Huijun He, Jing Zhang
The feasibility of 16 types of rare-earth elements (REEs) containing Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu vapor, generated simultaneously, was demonstrated by nebulized film dielectric barrier discharge (NFDBD) in this work. Note that this is the first report on the simultaneous vapor generation of 16 types of REEs, which previously was difficult to realize. Combining it with inductively coupled plasma–mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) as the sampling technique, a 4-fold to 10-fold improvement in the detection limits (LODs) of the REEs was observed, compared with the conventional solution nebulization, and no obvious interferences from other metal ions and the mutual interferences between REEs at the mg L–1 level were found. Compared with ultrasonic nebulization, microconcentric (MCN) and membrane-desolvation (Aridus) and electrothermal vaporization (ETV) for REEs sampling, this NFDBD sampling technique operates not only with low cost and low power, but also without any requirement of extra reagents and easy coupling with flow injection for volume limited samples. Under optimized conditions, the relative standard deviation (RSD) of 16 types of REEs determined at 5 μg L–1 was between 0.2% and 1.9%, and the LODs of REEs were between 0.002 ng L–1 and 0.422 ng L–1, depending on the element. This technique provides an alternative green and highly efficient vapor generation approach for the determination of REEs in environmental samples, especially in natural water.