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The Basics of the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

     A very common technique that is used for detecting metals and metalloids in ecological samples is Atomic Absorption. An atomic absorption spectrometer is thus in very popular demand today. It is very convenient that the technique and the appliance are very dependable and easy to use. The root fact that enables the usage of this technique for metal detection is that ground metals absorb light at particular wavelengths.

Around 50 elements can be generally detected with the help of an atomic absorption spectrometer. The liquid sample has to be aerosolized, aspirated, and mixed with combustible gases like acetylene and nitrous oxide or acetylene and air before using the technique on it. Ignition of the mixture is then performed at a temperature that ranges between 2100 and 2800 oC.

When combustion happens, the atoms of sample element being detected by the atomic absorption spectrometer are reduced to free and unexcited ground-state atoms. The wavelengths of light that is absorbed by these atoms is specific to the element and there is an accuracy from 0.01 to 0.1nm. A lamp that has its cathode made of the element under detection has to pass a beam through the flame for the atomic absorption spectrometer to present the element specific wavelengths. After this, a photon multiplier helps to measure the light intensity reduction that happens due to analyte absorption. This in fact can be related to the amount of the element we are scrutinizing in the sample.

There are atomic absorption spectrometers that are designed to function with either a flame or a graphite furnace. The atomic absorption spectrometer that works with a graphite furnace is always equipped with an auto sampler as well.

Whereas, the hardware of a flame atomic absorption spectrometer is divided into six basic parts with two chief functions, that is: to produce atomic signals and then process these signals. Signal processing is sometimes integrated and otherwise externally fitted to the spectrometer.

The best atomic absorption spectrometers are available with Aurora Biomed. The AI 500 Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer is one choice that is perfect for the inexpensive and high performance element analysis. This is a very easy to use instrument and it meets a wide range of requirements across various fields. The Mining, Environmental, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Metallurgical, Agricultural, Energy, Utilities, and Manufacturing industries commonly use this instrument.

The performance of AI 500 for a 2 mg/L Cu sample is 0.35 Abs. High precision analysis of elements is available with this instrument. This is also considered the safest AAS systems available in the market. Among its standard features, there are a variety of safety interlocks that guarantees maximum guard of the operator and it is well in compliance with laboratory safety systems. Automatic detection of burner head type, gas pressure and flame sensors are some other features in this tool. There is also the provision of automatic shutdown of gases in case there is a break in the power supply.

Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a common technique used in many analytical chemistry protocols, as well as applications requiring a high degree of precision and accuracy, such as food & drug safety, clinical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. Aurora’s TRACE™ Atomic Absorption Spectrometers can analyze the concentration of over 70 different elements in a given sample solution, making them a very valuable instrument in any laboratory environment.

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Posted on 2013-03-12, By: *

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