Glow discharge mass spectrometry is routinely used for direct elemental analysis of high purity materials. Quality control at high sample turnaround is required for nickel superalloy producers or high-purity copper refineries, for example, used for aerospace, electronics and photovoltaic industries.
Challenges arise for metals with melting points at room temperature, as the glow discharge ionization source operates at much higher temperatures. One such challenging element is gallium. This element is used in electronic circuits, semiconductors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). An emerging market is the use of gallium in thin-film solar cells. These “copper indium gallium selenide” (CIGS) solar cells are manufactured by depositing a thin layer of high-purity copper, indium, gallium and selenium on glass or plastic backing.
How can the analysis of gallium metal samples be made easy and reliable using glow discharge mass spectrometry (GD-MS)?
Besides the analytical challenges of the low-melting temperature of gallium, there is also the need within the gallium industry for close, onsite quality control. This is why a dedicated sample preparation and analysis workflow is essential.
The Thermo Scientific™ Element™ GD Plus GD-MS
equipped with a dedicated gallium kit delivers the ideal workflow for routine industrial quality control analysis of high purity gallium.
The Gallium Kit comes with a hot plate for melting samples, PTFE moulds for preparation of sample buttons, deep freezer box for solidification of sample buttons down to -50°C, desiccator for sample storage and accessories such as pipette and tips, gloves, tweezer and sample beakers.
There is no need to apply liquid nitrogen for cryogenic cooling, improving the handling and increasing the speed of analysis. Together with new software features and the high mass resolution capabilities, the Element GD Plus GD-MS equipped with the gallium kit offers an easy, clean, fast and reliable analysis of gallium, which is of high importance in “gallium” industries.
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