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Use of atomic absorption spectroscopy in field of forensics

Atomic absorption spectroscopy, or AAS, for short, is a technique used to measure the concentration of gas-phase atoms in a material. The amount of light absorbed by free ions in the sample is used to calculate the concentration of these atoms. Scientists can establish an element’s presence and concentration in a sample by exposing it to light at a specific wavelength and monitoring how much of that light is absorbed by the sample. Atomic absorption spectroscopy may be used to analyze both solid and liquid materials; however, the investigation of solid samples does necessitate additional procedures. It can identify over 70 distinct elements.

Throughout numerous branches of chemistry, atomic absorption spectrometry is employed. Atomic absorption spectrometry uses a variety of strong techniques to analyze the components in a solution. The tools are uncomplicated and simple to use. They are helpful in situations when a small number of elements must be determined across a large number of samples, such as in clinical or food analysis.

When compared to other methods of elemental analysis, atomic absorption spectroscopy techniques are quite important. Metals in biological fluids like blood and urine are analyzed, using it in clinical analysis.

The following can be used to express the fundamental tenets of AAS. First off, light at particular, distinct wavelengths can be absorbed by all atoms or ions. Only the Cu atoms or ions will absorb this light when a sample of copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni), for instance, is exposed to light at the wavelength of Cu. The concentration of the absorbing ions or atoms directly corelates with the amount of light that is absorbed at this wavelength. There are different energy levels for the electrons inside an atom. The atom may absorb the energy (photons), and electrons shift from a ground state to an excited state when it (the atom) is subjected to its own distinct wavelength. The transition that takes place during this phase is directly related to the radiant energy absorbed by the electrons. Additionally, because each element’s electrical structure is distinct, the radiation absorbed indicates a characteristic that is particular to each individual element and can be quantified. These fundamental ideas are utilized by an atomic absorption spectrometer for practical quantitative analysis. The light source, the atomization system, the monochromator, and the detecting system are the four basic parts of an atomic absorption spectrometer.

For solid and viscous liquid samples, digestion with a strong acid, such as HNO3, HCl, or H2SO4, is a usual sample preparation step. Samples can be directly put into flame AAS as well as graphite furnace AAS after dilution of the digested solutions. Samples are also broken up using other sample preparation techniques, such as microwave cooking and high-pressure digestion.

Atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) is particularly useful for clinical sample analysis, which frequently entails identifying the presence of metals in tissues and fluids for toxicological research or therapeutic purposes. The majority of these investigations use urine as their primary sample, although they may also use whole blood, blood serum, hair, biological tissues, or saliva to make their conclusions.

Enlisted below are some of the points to highlight why AAS is advantageous over other techniques for quantification of metals in samples.

Generates reliable results
AAS is a great method for producing reliable results. The outcomes are normally between 0.5 and 5 percent, or even better, if appropriate standards are used.

Extremely sensitive approach

Nuclear absorption, when determining the concentration of a material, spectroscopy is extremely sensitive. The approach can reduce the amount by the billionth of a gram. It has changed how specific procedures are carried out in a variety of areas as a result. AAS can be used to find trace elements in soil that we were previously unaware of, such as cobalt or molybdenum.

More affordable
Argon, which is quite expensive, is not used by AAS. This component is eliminated, which reduces the method’s cost.

Excellent accessibility
Due to its reliance on radiation and light absorption, the AAS technique is an excellent instrument for reaching difficult-to-reach locations, for example, in mining industries. 

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