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Elemental Analysis by Isotope Dilution

Nuclear Methods

  1. T.M. Bahrainwala,
  2. Z.R. Turel

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a6206

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Bahrainwala, T. and Turel, Z. 2006. Elemental Analysis by Isotope Dilution. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. The Institute of Science, Mumbai, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The measurement of extremely small traces of materials, which cannot be determined by normal analytical techniques, becomes possible and even relatively rapid and simple if the element can be made radioactive by the action of neutrons or charged particles. Nuclear techniques possess exceptional advantages in having extraordinary sensitivity, selectivity in detection and determination, speed and simplicity.

One of the nuclear techniques applied in trace and ultratrace analysis is isotope dilution analysis (IDA) which was first introduced by Hevesy and Hobbie in 1932. The great advantage of the method lies in the fact that it can be used even when the procedure involves loss of material or does not allow a complete separation of the element or compound. The isotope dilution method has found several applications in the determination of geological ages, fission yields and other problems in nuclear physics and chemistry.

Various techniques involved in IDA such as substoichiometry, liquid chromatography (LC) and radiometric titration are discussed along with the application of this technique to the estimation of elements in complex matrices as reported in the literature.