• central composite design;
  • ionic liquid;
  • in situ solvent formation microextraction;
  • microsample introduction;
  • nickel

Abstract:  In this research, a microextraction technique based on ionic liquids (ILs) termed in situ solvent formation microextraction (ISFME) was used for determination of nickel in solutions. 1-(2-pyridylazo)-2-naphtol (PAN) was chosen as a complexing agent. After preconcentration, the settled IL-phase was dissolved in 50 μL of ethanol and aspirated into the flame atomic absorption spectrometer (FAAS) using a home-made microsample introduction system. Injection of 50 μL volumes of analyte into an air–acetylene flame provided very sensitive spike-like and reproducible signals.

ISFME is based on phase separation phenomenon of ionic liquids in aqueous solutions. This method is simple and rapid for extraction and preconcentration of metal ions from food samples and can be applied for the sample solutions containing very high concentrations of salt. Furthermore, this technique is much safer in comparison with the organic solvent extraction because of using ionic liquid.

The effective parameters such as amount of IL, salt effect, concentration of the chelating agent and ion pairing agent were inspected by a full factorial design to identify important parameters and their interactions. Next, a central composite design was applied to obtain optimum point of the important parameters. Under the optimum conditions, the calibration graph was linear over the range of 2 to 80 ng/mL. The limit of detection and relative standard deviation (n= 6) were 0.6 ng/mL and 2%, respectively.