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Spark source mass spectrometry (SSMS) is an analytical technique used for determining the concentration of elements in a wide range of solid samples, including metals, semiconductors, ceramics, geological and biological materials, and air and water pollution samples. This article discusses the basic principles of spark source technique; SSMS instrumentation such as ion source, electric sector, and magnetic sector; sample preparation; and test procedures of SSMS. Some of the related techniques to SSMS are laser ionization mass spectrometry and laser-induced resonance ionization mass spectrometry. The ions produced in SSMS are detected by either the photometric method or electrical detection method and quantitatively measured by techniques such as internal standardization techniques, isotope dilution, multi element isotope dilution, and dry spike isotope dilution. The detected spark source spectrum contains all the elemental data of the tested sample. Finally, the article exemplifies the applications of SSMS.

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Joel A. Carter, Mass Spectroscopy, Materials Characterization, Vol 10, Edited By Ruth E. Whan, ASM International, 1986

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