In working with solutions, they must be converted to fine spray or aerosol via a nebulizer. This is similar to what happens when you spray a squirt bottle filled with water, although the droplets need to be much smaller. The three main types include:
- An ultrasonic nebulizer uses ultrasound waves to "boil" a solution flowing across a piezoelectric transducer (disc).
- A pneumatic nebulizer uses high pressure gas to entrain a solution. There are several variables that one must consider in using/selecting a nebulizer.
- A ceramic nebulizer uses high pressure gas to entrain a solution into a mist. The figure below shows that the analyte solution forms a mist with the carrier gas and goes to the emission source.