5 Applications and Principles of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)is a technique used to analyze the concentration of metals in the provided samples. The Agilent Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy is one the best spectroscopy providing industry that offers this technique for different industries and companies. Measuring different metallic components is very important in many applications, so it is important that we measure it through AAS. As we all know, 75% of the earth’s chemical elements are contained by metals, so sometimes it gets hard to measure how much metal is present in certain things. AAS is one of the best techniques for this. To understand this technique properly, below are some principles and applications that will help you know precisely what AAS is. Let’s read on to learn more:


1) Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy:

Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy(FAAS) is one of the principles of Atomic absorption spectroscopy that is used as a technique to determine the concentration of metal in the form of metallic solutions parts per million(ppm) and metallic solutions parts per billion(ppb). This is one of the best techniques for routine metal determination.

2) Graphite Furnace Absorption Spectroscopy(GFAS):

GFAS is a principle of electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy that uses Graphite to vaporize the given sample. Unlike FAAS, it is a type of electrothermal atomization. Both of these are different in many ways because GFAS determines the only low concentration of metals, that is to say, less than one ppb in smaller samples. Although it is much more sensitive than FAAS, it has its importance and uses.

3) Glow Discharge Atomizing System:

This system is used as an accessory for most of the FAAS systems because through glow discharge Atomizing System; Atomized vapour is produced through which it can be swept into cells for absorption detection. But the downside of it is that the samples must contain electric conductors, or the samples should be mixed with other fine ground graphite.

4) Hydride-generating Atomizers:
This special principle is used to analyze heavy metals or other elements like arsenic, tin, selenium and bismuth. After this, samples are acidified or diluted to mix up with sodium borohydride, and this outcome is transferred to the atomization chamber by inert gas. This sample is used to free metal atoms.

5) Cold Vapor Atomisation:

This technique can only be used to atomize Mercury because it is the only metal not atomized in flame or furnace. In a cold vapour atomization system, the Mercury sample is acidified and reduced, and then it is swept through an inert gas. After that, the absorption of gas is determined.


1) Mining Industries

As we all know, in mining industries the precious metals like gold are recovered from mine heaps. So through AAS, one can know if the gold extracted is good or not and whether it can be profitable for the industry. This way, AAS is also used in mining industries.

2) Pharmaceuticals Industries:

In pharmaceutical industries, AAS is used to determine elements that are harmful in pharmaceutical products that include ensuring that the drug is free from catalysts like palladium or platinum.

3) Environmental Control:

As for environmental control, atomic absorption spectroscopy is used to determine the harmful elements present in the atmosphere to show if the atmosphere is pure or not. It decides light emitted from a sample rather than light absorbed. Through this, we can know if the environment contains harmful elements or not.

4) Agriculture Industries:

Atomic absorption spectroscopy(AAS) is used in agriculture industries because it determines and analyses the quality of soil samples. It also determines how much effect the soil will have in certain areas. So while growing crops, agriculture industries can know which soil is better for crop production. Thus, AAS is an essential resource for the agriculture industry.

5) Forensics:

In terms of forensics, the analysis of blood samples, brain and muscle tissue, and gunshot powder residue is done through Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. This technology has improved a lot in terms of the forensics area, so we can say that forensic has the best use of atomic absorption technology in many ways.

These are some applications and principles of AAS that are beneficial for many industries and companies.

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