The electrolyte cathode atmospheric glow discharge (ELCAD) invented in 1992 is a new optical emission source with upcoming application in the field of environmental protection as an outstanding instrument for monitoring the toxic heavy metal content of waters and wastewaters. The main operating parameters, mechanisms (secondary electron emission from the electrolyte cathode, self-sustaining processes in the cathode dark space, dependence of the emitted line intensities on the discharge parameters, temperatures), and the analytical performance of this special discharge are presented through a critical review using the papers related to the ELCAD published from 1993 to 2006.
- Atmospheric glow discharge
- Direct analysis of solutions
- Electrolyte cathode
- Optical emission spectrometry
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