Working of Argon Ionization Detector

Argon ionization detector:

In this article we are going to learn how argon ionization detectors works?

Diagram:

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Working of argon ionization detector:

For the argon ionization detector, argon gas is used as the carrier gas. Argon ionization detector consists of two electrodes placed parallel to each other. A potential difference is applied across them. The effluent from the column is allowed to enter the ionization detector.Now as the carrier gas is non conductive there is no current under normal conditions.

A radioactive source is placed in the approach region of electrodes. The rays emitted by the radioactive source excite the argon atoms and electrons are produced. Further under the influence of applied potential these electrons accelerate and collide with the argon atoms and raise them to metastable state. Such metastable state argon atom collides with argon atom from the effluent. Then these argon atoms form the effluents. Then these argon atoms are ionized and became conducting. This results in a current proportional to the ions. Thus this current is proportional to the quantity of organic compound in a sample.

This argon ionization detector is sensitive to most of the organic and insensitive to H20, oxygen, CO2 and hydrocarbon like methane.

Advantages of the argon ionization detector:

1)      Argon ionization detector is sensitive to most of the organic and inorganic compounds.

2)      Argon ionization detector has high linear dynamic range (10^5).

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