/ VOL. 2, NO. 1ISSN 1430-4171THE CHEMICAL EDUCATORhttp://journals.springer-ny.com/chedr © 1997 SPRINGER-VERLAG NEW YORK, INC.S 1430-4171 (97)01103-5
EXCITED STATEGROUND STATEh
. EMISSION OF RADIATION UPON RELAXATION FROM AN EXCITED STATE.
As illustrated inFigure1,atoms emit electromagnetic radiation (h
)as they relax froman excited state to their ground state. The emitted radiation can be easily detectedwhen it is in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV, 120–185 nm), ultraviolet (UV, 185–400nm), visible (VIS, 400–700 nm), and near infrared regions (NIR, 700–850 nm).Although atoms emit electromagnetic radiation in the infrared, microwave, andradiowave regions, the detection systems are less sensitive in these regions; therefore,the VUV, UV, VIS, and NIR regions are preferred. Of these only the VUV needs aspecial environment devoid of air. Nevertheless, a portion of the VUV spectrum isused by analytical spectroscopists.The basic aim of analytical atomic spectroscopy is to identify elements and quantifytheir concentrations in various media. The procedure consists of three general steps:atom formation, excitation, and emission. Before excitation, an element that is boundin a specific matrix must be separated from that matrix so that its atomic emissionspectra is free from interferences. For UV and visible spectroscopy, the input energymust be sufficient to raise an electron from the ground state to the excited state. Oncethe electron is in the excited state, the atom emits light, which is characteristic of thatparticular element. This tutorial will compare the Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP)