Simulation of droplet heating and desolvation in inductively coupled plasma - Part II: Coalescence in the plasma

Craig M. Benson, Jiaqiang Zhong, Sergey F. Gimelshein, Deborah A. Levin, Akbar Montaser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A numerical model is developed to consider for the first time droplet coalescence along with transport, heating and desolvation in an argon inductively coupled plasma (Ar ICP). The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method and the Ashgriz-Poo model are used, respectively, to compute droplet-droplet interactions and to determine the outcome of droplet collisions. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations support the use of the Ashgriz-Poo coalescence model for small droplet coalescence. Simulations predict spatial maps of droplet number and mass densities within an Ar ICP for a conventional nebulizer-spray chamber arrangement, a direct injection high efficiency nebulizer (DIHEN), and a large bore DIHEN (LB-DIHEN). The primary findings are: (1) even at 1500 W, the collisions of the droplets in the plasma lead primarily to coalescence, particularly for direct aerosol injection; (2) the importance of coalescence in a spray simulation exhibits a complex relationship with the gas temperature and droplet size; (3) DIHEN droplets penetrate further into the Ar ICP when coalescence is considered; and (4) droplets from a spray chamber or the LB-DIHEN coalesce less frequently than those from a DIHEN. The implications of these predictions in spectrochemical analysis in ICP spectrometry are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1471
Number of pages19
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 15 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event5th European Furnace Symposium - Blagoevrad, Bulgaria
Duration: Sep 1 2002Sep 1 2002


  • DSMC
  • Direct simulation Monte Carlo simulations
  • Direction injection high efficiency nebulizer
  • Droplet coalescence
  • Droplet collisions
  • ICP
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Molecular dynamics simulations
  • Numerical model
  • Spray chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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