Column: Atomic Perspectives

May 01, 2016
When developing or optimizing an ICP-OES method for trace-element analysis, a number of parameters must be evaluated, including analytical wavelengths, interferences, plasma parameters, data acquisition parameters, and validation. Here’s what to consider for each.
Mar 01, 2016
The American Chemical Society’s (ACS) book on reagents and reference materials, Reagent Chemicals, has become a reference worldwide for the chemicals used in high purity applications. In the new 11th edition of the book, various updated methods and new procedures have been adopted. Of particular importance are the new plasma-based spectrochemical methodologies for the determination of heavy metals in reagent chemicals.
Oct 01, 2015
The importance of routine maintenance in ICP-MS cannot be overemphasized. The potential for thermal instability, corrosion, chemical attack, blockage, matrix deposits, and signal drift is much higher with ICP-MS than with other atomic spectroscopy techniques. By following the guidelines provided here, however, you can reduce the frequency of routine maintenance and ensure optimal instrument performance.
Jul 01, 2015
Two novel X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques—back-reflection energy-dispersive XRD and mineral- or phase-specific XRD—enable the rapid analysis of unprepared samples using handheld instrumentation for remote applications.
May 01, 2015
A novel adaptation to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), mass cytometry provides researchers with a tool to study the complexity of biology at the single-cell level.
Mar 01, 2015
This installment evaluates the application requirements for the determination of 15 elemental impurities in pharmaceutical materials as described in the new United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapters <232> and <233> and offers suggestions about which atomic spectroscopic technique might be the most suitable to use.
Oct 30, 2014
By Spectroscopy Editors
An application of atomic spectroscopy for experiential learning through archaeological investigations is presented.
Jul 01, 2014
In quantitative XRF analyses, the largest errors generally arise from sample preparation. To address that problem, this installment of "Atomic Perspectives" presents the fundamental assumptions necessary to prepare a bulk powder material for the best possible accuracy. It also explains the physics involved during the excitation and emission processes as well as the major sources of error in preparing powders. Further, it describes the basics of grinding and pressing, and the fusion method of sample preparation.
May 01, 2014
A new sodium peroxide fusion method is described, as well as the conditions for inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectrometry, and a list of the accuracy and precision measurements for all prepared samples.
Mar 14, 2014
A critical review of the main developments in instrument technology, calibration, and sample preparation that have made it possible to determine low sulfur concentrations in fuels followed by a discussion of strategies to minimize spectral interferences related to sulfur determination by ICP-MS, such as collision–reaction cells, high-resolution mass analyzers, and the interference standard method.
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