A Guide to Choosing the Right Atomic Spectroscopic System and Technique
The process of identifying the elemental makeup of an analyte using its electromagnetic or mass spectrum is known as atomic spectroscopy. Several analytical techniques are available, and choosing the best one is crucial for generating accurate, dependable, real-world findings. Because each methodology has its strengths and limits, proper selection necessitates a fundamental grasp of each. It also necessitates a thorough awareness of your laboratory analytical needs. The following information will assist you in determining which approach is best suited to your needs and applications.
- The Available Degree Of Expertise
When a methodology is being examined, it’s vital to understand the application’s needs, especially if there’s a lack of knowledge or experience in-house on how to apply it to tackle a specific application problem. It may be the case in a pharmaceutical or dietary supplement manufacturing laboratory required to test the elemental impurities of incoming raw materials utilized in the manufacturing process. Suppose inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is being seriously considered, for example. In that case, it generally requires an analyst with a higher skill level to develop a rugged, interference-free methodology that analysts can eventually put in the hands of an inexperienced user to operate regularly. Again, this is a severe worry if the approach is utilized by inexperienced users with little knowledge of operating analytical instruments, as is the situation in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors.
- Limits Of Detection And Analytical Operating Range
The detection limits for various elements are critical in deciding if an Atomic Spectroscopy methodology is appropriate for a specific analytical issue. Longer analyte concentration processes may be necessary before analysis if detection limits are insufficient. The analytical working range is the concentration range within which analysts may achieve quantitative findings without recalibrating the apparatus. By allowing samples with varied analyte concentrations to be analyzed simultaneously, choosing a methodology with an analytical working range (and detection limits) depending on the predicted analyte concentrations reduces analysis timeframes. A broad analytical working range can help minimize sample handling needs, lowering the risk of mistakes.
- Costs And Sample Throughput
The number of samples or elements that can be determined per unit of time is referred to as sample throughput. Studies done at the boundaries of detection or where the highest accuracy is required will take longer than less demanding analyses for most methods. The number of components to be determined per sample and the analytical procedure will define the sample throughput if these parameters are not restrictive. Instrumentation for single-element atomic spectroscopy (Flame AA and GFAA) is often less expensive than multi-element approaches since there are less complicated systems (ICP-OES and ICP-MS). In the same direction, there might be a significant cost difference in instrumentation. Instruments with only a few fundamental functions are usually less expensive than more flexible systems, which sometimes include more automation.
When choosing an Atomic Spectroscopy methodology that is most suited to your application’s demands, it is critical to recognize that there are several elements to consider. At times, one strategy jumps out as the obvious choice, while at other times, it is less apparent. And, as with many applications, more than one methodology is frequently appropriate.