AAS Spectroscopy provides cost-effective analysis of trace metals in a vast range of samples both natural and man-made such as geological samples, foods, plants, agricultural samples, soils, rocks, biological specimens, manufacturing streams, industrial effluents, pharmaceuticals and drinking water. The technique provides precise results and is a great time saver in comparison with the conventional gravimetric methods in earlier days.
Effective time management is essential in planning your analysis to sustain high sample throughputs. Apart from planning the analysis you should ensure beforehand that the objectives of the analysis are well understood.
- Elements to be determined
- Expected concentration levels
- Matrix composition of the sample
- Quantity of sample available
- Sample pretreatment requirement, if necessary
Once the information on the above points is gathered the next step is to plan your analysis. The following tips will help you to get maximum output in limited available time.
Time saving tips
- Availability of reference standards or certified reference materials for the elements to be determined
- Dilutions of standards should be kept ready in advance to prepare a calibration plot over the required concentration range
- Clean and calibrated volumetric glassware should be available before the start of determinations
- Samples are properly labelled and dilutions are also clearly marked so that chances of mixing or omission are ruled out
- Hollow cathode lamps or Electrodeless discharge lamps required for elements to be analyzed are available with required useable energy levels
- As AAS is a sequential elemental analysis technique samples requiring common element determinations should be grouped together otherwise lamp change and warm-up can be time consuming
- Check for sufficient gas pressures in gas tanks before start of analysis and standby supplies should be kept ready
- Time between sample collection or preparation and analysis should be kept minimum to prevent contamination by the storage container or adsorption of trace metals to be determined by the container walls
Above all a stock of essential spares should be maintained to fix common operational problems that can arise and take a toll on your precious time.