Office of Research
Lab - Metals
Trace metals analyses are performed using an inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer (ICP), a graphite furnace atomic absorption (AA) spectrometer, and an automated atomic absorption spectrometer with integrated flow injection system for cold vapor mercury AA. Present capabilities include a Perkin-Elmer Optima (ICP-OES) DX-7000. ICP spectrometer with autosampler. The ICP also utilizes an axial view plasma, which improves detection limits by an order of magnitude over the side view plasma. Samples to be analyzed by the ICP are acid digested in a ThermaBlock-36 Heating Block Acid Digestion System. The Perkin-Elmer AAnalyst 600 is a graphite furnace AA equipped with a solid-state detector, which provides an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio for superior detection limits and precision. The furnace assembly is a Transversely Heated Graphite Atomizer (THGA) with longitudinal Zeeman-effect background correction. A 0.8 Tesla magnetic field is oriented longitudinally to the optical path. Typical applications include low level determinations of arsenic, selenium, lead, antimony and thallium in water/wastewater samples, as well as plant, soil and waste samples. Analysis for mercury is performed using the Perkin-Elmer Flow Injection Mercury System 100 (FIMS-100). FIMS consists of a high sensitivity spectrometer with a high energy mercury source, precision long-path absorption cell and solar-blind detector, and a built-in flow injection system. FIMS combines cold vapor mercury AA with the flow injection technique, which enables cold vapor mercury AA procedures to be fully automated for mercury determinations down to low ng/L (ppb) levels.