Module Development Author

The Materials for Instruction contained in this module have been prepared and/or reviewed by Dr. Michael Epstein, Department of Science, Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg, MD 21727 

Introduction to Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AA) is an analytical technique for the determination of metals in solutions, slurries, and in some solid materials over a concentration range from less than a part-per-billion to percent levels.  AA was first introduced in 1955 by Sir Alan Walsh, and because of its low cost, versatility, and simplicity, has evolved into the primary tool for metal analysis used in analytical laboratories.  Significant technological advances in the area of electronics, computerization, and atomizer technology have yielded lower and lower detectable limits and more accurate measurement capabilities.  While AA has been replaced in some laboratories by more powerful (and expensive) techniques such as inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) emission and ICP-mass spectrometry, it is still the most widely used method for metals analysis in industrial areas dealing with environmental, chemical manufacturing, clinical, forensic, and food science disciplines. To view the FAQ for AA, click here.

To access Materials for Instruction that support Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, select one of the categories on the left.   

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