9. Atomic Spectrometry

  1. Brian M. Tissue

Published Online: 7 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118647042.ch9

Basics of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Equilibria

Basics of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Equilibria

How to Cite

Tissue, B. M. (2013) Atomic Spectrometry, in Basics of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Equilibria, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118647042.ch9

Author Information

  1. Virginia Tech, Department of Chemistry, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 12 JUL 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470592083

Online ISBN: 9781118647042

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Keywords:

  • atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS);
  • atomic emission spectrometry (AES);
  • atomic spectrometry;
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS);
  • mass spectrometry (MS)

Summary

This chapter describes the most common methods of elemental analysis at trace-level concentrations, less than approximately 100 ppm. The methods include atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), atomic emission spectrometry (AES), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The chapter summarizes the characteristics of these atomic spectrometry methods and selected instrument characteristics, and provides the approximate instrument cost. When deciding between AAS and AES, the absorption method can provide better precision due to less sensitivity to variations in temperature in the atomization source. AES has the advantage of simultaneous multi-element detection, and it is more useful when analyzing for multiple elements in a sample. AES with a plasma excitation source also has better sensitivity for the heavier metals compared to AAS. ICP-MS is more sensitive than atomic absorption or AES, but the price is greater complexity, which requires a higher level of operator skill.