GGR Biennial Review: Atomic Absorption, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy, Neutron Activation Analysis, and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry Review for 2008-2009
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This review describes developments in trace element analysis using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry that were reported in 2008 and 2009. Publication levels were comparable to those of previous years, except for XRF which showed an increase in the number of articles published in the past two years. In terms of number of publications and impact, the most active field was AAS, while INAA was the least active. As expected for well-established and mature methods, novel developments for all four analytical techniques were relatively sparse. For AAS, the most notable publications concerned developments in sample introduction, particularly focussing on solid samples, increasing analyte sensitivity, and higher sample throughput. For ICP-AES, publication of developments in sample introduction, remediation of matrix effects and calibration continues. Compared to past years, there was a clear focus on sample preconcentration methods, but very few publications reporting new hyphenated speciation methods. For INAA, there were several publications exploring the accuracy and robustness of the method, as well as the requirements for INAA to meet criteria for a primary method of measurement. Two other related techniques, delayed neutron activation analysis, and prompt gamma activation analysis, were also described. Hyphenated XRF techniques showed interesting developments in enabling XRF and XRD analysis on the same spot, and further work characterising and calibrating three-dimensional micro-XRF shows promising results for investigating sample heterogeneity.
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