Diffusion-controlled sampling techniques, i.e. diffusion screens and diffusion tubes (= denuders), can be used in the collection of several vaporized heavy metal species in clean gases (pure N2 atmosphere) at elevated temperatures. Collection efficiencies obtained for Hg, HgCl2, Cd, CdCl2 and ZnCl2 were over 90% using adsorption on Au-coated diffusion screens and Ag-coated denuders. However, the collection efficiencies for Zn and PbCl2 were significantly lower. In field measurements performed at a hazardous waste incineration plant and in a power plant equipped with a circulating fluidized-bed boiler, collection efficiencies seemed to vary noticeably depending on the sampling conditions and metal species to be sampled. Best collection efficiencies were obtained for mercury with both Ag coated denuders and Au coated screens whereas cadmium showed significantly poorer results in field measurements than in the laboratory. Sampling of zinc and lead species seemed to be problematic in all cases. Of the two sampling techniques, the denuder technique is more recommendable than the screen technique for sampling in relatively clean gases. However, neither of these techniques should be used in flue gases without further understanding of the collection mechanisms.