The ARL 3560. The large cabinet in the center of the picture contains the spectrometer and internal computers. The cabinet on the left (behind the big printer) with the big vent coming out of it is the radio frequency (RF) generator. The smaller cabinet on the right (to the right of, and behind, the external computer) is called the ‘stand’ – it houses the torch and plasma.
The 3560 from the left showing the RF generator and system printer.
The 3560 from the right showing the ‘stand’ and autosampler (to the right of the stand).
The stand of the 3560 with the exterior door opened. The small light that looks like a flame in the center of the picture is the plasma. It is actually a very bright white and about 3cm in height. It looks greenish because we are viewing it behind the colored glass which protects the operator’s eyes. The glass object below the box containing the plasma (and torch) is the spray chamber. A small glass nebulizer injects a mist containing the sample into the spray chamber, where small droplets are broken up and a subsample is directed upward into the center of the torch (not visible in this picture because the torch box must be closed when the plasma is formed).
The 3560’s torch box open when the plasma is off. The vertical glass object in the center of the picture is the torch. RF energy flows through the three-turn coil around the top of the torch, and that is where the plasma forms. The horizontal ‘nozzle’ to the left of the top of the torch is the inlet to the spectrometer. This is where light from the plasma is directed into the spectrometer for analysis.
he Perkin Elmer Optima 3000DV. It is more compact than the 3560 because it makes greater use of solid-state electronics. The ‘stand’ is on the left side of the instrument, below the vent stack. The RF generator is contained in the ‘leg’ on the left, below the stand.
The Optima’s ‘stand’ with the doors open (plasma off). Here it is setup with a corrosion resistant plastic spray chamber, the black cylindrical object on the left. The Optima’s torch is mounted horizontally, as opposed to vertically in the 3560, allowing axial viewing. The torch is the brownish glass object visible to the right of the spray chamber and partially obscured by a viewing ‘periscope’.
The view of the Optima’s ‘stand’ from the left, showing the spray chamber.
The Optima’s torch mounting. Not visible is the shear gas nozzle mounted to the right of the torch which ‘cuts off’ the tip of the plasma using a stream of nitrogen gas. This technique allows axial viewing of the plasma.
Research Analytical Lab
Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Research Analytical Laboratory
Room 135 Crops Research Building
1902 Dudley Ave
St Paul, MN 55108-6089