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Experimental and Theoretical Comparison of the Precision of Flame Atomic Absorption, Fluorescence, and Emission Measurements

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Theoretical equations and experimental evaluation procedures for the determination of the precision of flame atomic absorption, emission, and fluorescence measurements are presented. These procedures and noise power spectra are used to evaluate the precision and noise characteristics of atomic copper measurements with all three techniques under the same experimental conditions in an H2-air flame. At the detection limit, emission and fluorescence measurements are limited by background emission shot and flicker noise whereas absorption measurements are limited by flame transmission lamp flicker noise. Analyte flicker noise limits precision at higher analyte concentrations for all three techniques. Fluctuations in self-absorption and the inner filter effect are shown to contribute to the noise in atomic emission and fluorescence measurements.

Keywords: Atomic absorption; Atomic emission; Atomic fluorescence; signal/noise

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331; present address: Department of Chemistry, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 2: Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: May 1, 1981

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