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    Chemical Aspects of Atomic Absorption

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    The phenomenal growth of atomic absorption spectrometry in the past twelve years can be attributed to many factors such as the high sensitivity of the method for a large number of elements, advances in overcoming interferences, saving of time required for analysis, and the rapid improvement of instrumentation. The major interferences in atomic absorption are of a chemical nature; however, physical interferences which are associated with the chemical matrix often are present. To overcome chemical interferences and to eliminate or minimize their influences from phosphate, aluminum, titanium, and any other elements producing nonvolatile compounds, releasing agents, or high-temperature flames are used. Also, the use of a separation and preconcentration technique often becomes necessary when determining elements at the subtrace level. A list of organic ligands and solvents used in solvent extraction for absorption is presented as a means of preconcentration and removal of chemical interferences.


    atomic absorption, detection limits, electrodeless discharge, nebulizer burner, interferences, releasing agents, organic ligands, solvents, analyzing, tests

    Author Information:

    Rains, T. C.
    Research chemist, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E01.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP47269S