Atomic spectroscopy analysis is the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the elemental composition of samples using the characteristic spectra emitted or absorbed by atoms.

Atomic spectra consist of a series of wavelengths of light emitted or absorbed by electrons in atoms as their energy changes. Absorption spectra are formed when certain wavelengths of light are absorbed in the atomic absorption light source, and emission spectra are formed when photons are emitted. Both spectra are not continuous, and the lines in the absorption spectrum correspond to those in the emission spectrum. Each atomic spectrum is unique and is referred to as a characteristic spectrum.

By measuring the composition of these characteristic spectra, one can qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the elemental composition of a sample.

Basic Principles of Atomic Spectroscopy Analysis

Atomic Fluorescence Spectroscopy (AFS): The basic principle involves the absorption of light at characteristic wavelengths by atomic vapor. Following absorption, atoms are excited to higher energy levels, and during the transition to lower energy levels, the emitted radiation is termed atomic fluorescence.


(1) Low detection limits and high sensitivity, especially for elements like Cd, Zn, with considerably low detection limits (Cd up to 0.001 ng·cm-3, Zn at 0.04 ng·cm-3). Over 20 elements have detection limits lower than those of atomic absorption spectroscopy. The use of new high-intensity light sources can further reduce detection limits.

(2) Fewer interferences and simpler spectral lines. Non-dispersive atomic fluorescence analyzers can be created using certain devices, resulting in a simple structure and cost-effective instrument.

(3) Wide linear range for calibration curves, spanning 3 to 5 orders of magnitude.

(4) Simultaneous determination of multiple elements is achievable. Since atomic fluorescence is emitted in various directions, it is relatively easy to create instruments with multiple channels, allowing for the simultaneous determination of multiple elements.

By 向阳 翟


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