Atomic Absorption (AA) as well as Inductively Coupled PlasmaOptical Emission Spectroscopy or Mass Spectrometry (ICPOES or ICP-MS) are frequently used for determination and speciation of metals and metalloids in environmental samples or consumer products.
The AA technique is based on the absorption of specific wavelengths of light by ground state metals after ionization in a flame or graphite furnace. In the other techniques the metals are ionized in a plasma stream by heating of an inert gas stream in an electrical field of high frequency. In ICP-OES the high temperature of the plasma stimulates the sample atoms and element specific radiation is emitted at specific wavelength. A detector identifies the wavelengths of the absorbed or emitted light. In ICP-MS the detector is a mass spectrometer which separates and detects the ionized species according to the mass/charge ratio.
For all of these techniques, accurate sample preparation is essential for proper determination of the metal content. It is common to use highly concentrated acids for extraction and dissolution of the metal ions. The Microlab 600 technology provides outstanding accuracy and precision as well as user-independent handling to ensure excellent analysis results. Since the species of interest are often contained in soil samples an extraction with concentrated acids is necessary very frequently. The Microlab 600 contains a fully inert flow path with PTFE, PE or glass as wetted materials. For this reason the instrument is perfectly suited for handling of corrosive solutions. Moreover, the direct contact between operator and the sample solution is avoided which highly improves the safety at work.