hollow-cathode lamp


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hol·low-cath·ode lamp

(hol'ō-kath'ōd lamp)
A lamp consisting of a metal cathode and an inert gas that can emit a line spectrum of specific wavelength; used in atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
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Then, it is exposed to the heat of a flame or furnace, or, in the case of a fluorescence analyzer, a strong light source such as a hollow-cathode lamp or laser.
Unfortunately, those original single-beam AAS instruments were not used routinely due to the inherent deficiencies in the components of the time: poor hollow-cathode lamp (HCL) characteristics, noisy power supplies, drifting detectors and amplifiers, and thermal expansion variations in optical components (mirrors, beamsplitters, and mounts).