Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Aurora has built a reputation as an industry leader manufacturing atomic absorption spectrometers and atomic fluorescence spectrometers. Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a common technique used in many analytical chemistry protocols, as well as applications requiring a high degree of precision and accuracy, such as food & drug safety, clinical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. Aurora’s TRACE™ Atomic Absorption Spectrometers can analyze the concentration of over 70 different elements in a given sample solution, making them a very valuable instrument in any laboratory environment.

Atomic Absorption Theory

Atomic absorption spectroscopy relies on the Beer-Lambert law to determine the concentration of a particular analyte in a sample. The absorption spectrum and molar absorbance of the desired sample element are known, a known amount of energy is passed through the atomized sample, and by then measuring the quantity of light it is possible to determine the concentration of the element being measured.

Aurora’s TRACE AI1200 and TRACE 1800 Atomic Absorption Spectrometers are available with flame, graphite furnace and vapor hydride generation atomizers. These atomizers aspirate the sample into the light path where it is illuminated by a hollow-cathode lamp (HCL), which emits light at the wavelength characteristic of the desired elements. A built-in detector measures the light emissions both in presence and absence of sample, and the ratio of the absorbances are used to determine the analyte concentration.

Background Correction

Background correction techniques, such the built-in self-reversal Smith-Hieftje correction method and deuterium background correction adjust for molecular absorption overlap which would otherwise result in incorrect concentration measurements. Both Deuterium and Smith-Hieftje background correction are standard features offered TRACE Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, ensuring consistently reliable measurements.

Vapor Hydride Generation

Vapour Hydride Generator Vapor hydride generation allows for the determination of mercury and hydride-forming elements such as arsenic and lead by atomic absorption spectroscopy. This feature is available on all TRACE and LUMINA spectrometers or by adding Aurora’s Vapor Hydride Generator to AAS, AFS, ICP-AES and ICP-MS instruments offered by other manufacturers.


Aurora’s Vapor Hydride Generator provides enhanced sensitivities, reduced interferences and extremely low detection limits for the determination of sub-trace levels of mercury and hydride-forming metals. The revolutionary design allows for optimal performances for hydride and cold vapor determinations. This is essential, as it is of utmost importance, especially in fields such as food and water safety that the presence of heavy metals be determined accurately and precisely.

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