Spectroscopy Essay

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Theory: Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectroscopy is a quantitative analysis technique that uses the absorption of light through a flame and gaseous chemicals. AA Spectroscopy can be used for a multitude of purposes, most notably finding the concentration of one or a few elements in a compound. AA Spectroscopy can work in two different ways using an open flame and gaseous chemicals or a graphite furnace. Flame AA Spectroscopy works by taking a compound or element and disassociating it into an aqueous solution. The solution is then blown through an incredibly small nozzle which nebulizes the liquid into a very fine mist. The nebulized liquid is then blown through a flame with a very small beam of light passing through it. This light beam detects different elements in the flame and uses the known light absorbance of the element to determine the concentration of the element in the solution. The other form of AA Spectroscopy uses a graphite furnace to heat up and incinerate a sample. A solid compound is placed in the furnace which then heats up to 2000-3000 C effectively atomizing the compound and in the process turning the rest into ash. The light beam is then shot through the furnace as the solid is being heated and subsequently atomized and the machine records the absorbance rate much like the Flame AA Spectroscopy would. The difference between flame and furnace spectroscopy is in the atomization of the sample; because the Flame Spectroscopy uses pressure to atomize the compound, much of the compound is lost when sprayed…show more content…
This specific lab will focus on the two main variants of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy: flame AA spectroscopy, and spectroscopy using a graphite furnace. The lab will also introduce and teach how to deal with both systematic and random error when using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.

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