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Atomic Spectroscopy: How to Know Which Instrument to Choose?

There are many industries nowadays which use Atomic Spectroscopy to check the various instruments such as wastewater treatment, metals, pharmaceuticals, etc. Atomic Spectroscopy generally consists of two forms which are known as absorption and emission. Here the Atomic Spectroscopy measures the analyte concentration into the billions of parts with the help of optical radiation. There are three types of atomic spectroscopy instrumentation methods that are followed in the industry which are known as Flame Atomic Absorption, Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption, and Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption.

Talking about Optical Emission it comes in two different forms as Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical emission and Flame Optical emission. Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission is known as the most popular form when it comes to the most popular optical emission. About Flame Optical emission, it uses a flame that helps to excite the atoms wherein with Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical emission it uses the higher temperature plasma which results in the effective excitation. Hence Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical emission is widely used in various industries. It is more focused on speed, fewer interfaces, and lower detection limits while Flame Optical Emission is all about being the cost-effective solution that is easy to operate.

How Atomic Absorption Works?

The procedure of Atomic Absorption takes place when the atom absorbs the light energy in the ground and transmits it to a higher energy level. The level of energy absorption increases with the higher number of atoms present at that moment. Here generally the light sources are used in the form of electrodeless discharge lamps or hollow cathodes. Here each of the elements needs to be detected with the help of different light sources. Talking about the Flame Atomic Absorption it generally occurs via a high-temperature burner nebulizer while in Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption it is done through the graphite tube which is free from all kinds of matrix and solvents. Talking about the time it takes for the furnace atomic absorption it takes longer for the analysis wherein the list of potential element analytes are comparatively shorter than the flame atomic absorption.

Inductively Coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy helps to measure the light emission from the argon plasma elements which can reach up to 10000k. With the higher temperature, it helps to atomize the sample elements and minimize the chemical interference. The light emitted from the Inductively Coupled plasma can be checked radically as well as axially. Here the radial view provides you with the upper linear range wherein the axial view helps to reduce the plasma background that offers the tenfold improvement in detection limit.

Which one to choose for Atomic Spectroscopy?

Selecting the right instrument for Atomic Spectroscopy is essential. Most of the lab managers are generally concerned with every aspect of the instruments such as ease of use, cost, etc. Here you can choose from Furnace Atomic Absorption, Inductively Couples Plasma MS, and Inductively Couples Plasma OES. Here you can take a call based on detection limits, the number of analytes as well as the number of samples. You can get the flame atomic absorption within the range of $15,000 to $25,000 while the graphite furnace atomic absorption can cost you anywhere around $30,000 to $60,000. The cost of ICP MS can range from $130,000 to $300,000 while the one with ICP OES can cost you $60,000 to $100,000.

Understanding the Value, Cost, and Capability?

Talking about the cost the lowest one is the FAAS followed by MP AES, ICP OES, and ETAAS. You can also consider checking the speed, several analytes, and other quantification limits to determine the appropriate technique. Talking about the operating costs the Flame Atomic Absorption is relatively low as compared to the others. If you are considering getting the ETAAS then the overall costing would be higher due to the cost of graphite tubes and argon. You may also find the cost of ICP OES higher due to the increased argon consumption while the MP AES is known to be the lowest in cost. All the methods are reliable as well as established but according to recent research, FAAS is known to be the best one.