Submitted to: Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 9, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This paper summarizes the current state-of-the-art for commercially avail- able multielement instruments for atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) with graphite furnace atomization. New advances in spectrometer and solid state detector technology are reviewed and the latest advances for prototype (non commercialized) AAS instruments using continuum sources are described. Based on these developments, a hypothetical multielement instrument is pro posed which would offer multielement determinations (30-40 elements), ex- tended calibration ranges (5-6 orders of magnitude), background correction and the ability to inspect the spectra around the wavelengths of interest. This instrument will have broad applications in the analysis of samples from foods, clinical and environmental sources.
Technical Abstract: Graphite furnace-atomic absorption spectrometry (GF-AAS) is restricted to the determination of 4 to 6 elements simultaneously due to the limitations of hollow cathode lamps. However, a consideration of prototype continuum source instruments and recent advances in the fields of spectrometer and detector technology suggests that a multielement GS-AAS instrument, with the multielement versatility associated with atomic emission spectrometry, is possible. Such a multielement instrument would employ a continuum source and provide 1)multielement determinations for 30 to 40 elements, 2)wave- length and time integrated absorbance measurements which are independent of the source width, 3)detection limits comparable to line source AAS with the potential for another order of magnatude improvement using atomization at elevated pressures, 4)extened calibration ranges limited only by the memory of the atomizer, and 5)high resolution inspection of the spectra surrounding the analytical wavelength. Such an instrument could provide figures of merit comparable to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer with considerably less complexity.