Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS)

Information obtained

  • Concentrations of elements in aqueous solutions, predominantly cations.

Principle

AAS uses absorption of light to determine the concentration of elements in an atomised sample. The sample can be atomised in a flame or with a graphite furnace. By irradiating the atomised sample with light of a wavelength specific to the elements of interest, we can determine the concentration of the element in the sample by using the Beer-Lambert Law: A λ =c∙l∙ελ

AAS fig 1
Illustration of AAS concept

Special features

Flame: gives concentrations in the ppm range.
Graphite furnase: gives concentrations in ppb range.
Hydride generator: