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Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society

Print version ISSN 0103-5053


WELZ, Bernhard et al. Continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry: past, present and future aspects - a critical review. J. Braz. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.5, pp.799-821. ISSN 0103-5053.

This review article covers 1½ centuries of history of continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry (CS AAS), starting with the early experiments of Kirchhoff and Bunsen in the 1860s. It also tries to explain why the technique was abandoned in the first half of the 20th century, why it was "re-discovered" in the 1960s in the USA, where several research groups worked intensively on the development of CS AAS for about four decades, and why they finally failed. This review also discusses the major advantages of modern high-resolution CS AAS (HR-CS AAS), which uses a high-resolution double monochromator and a charge coupled device array detector, which adds the wavelength as third dimension to the usual display of absorbance over time. The literature about applications of this technique has been carefully revised. Finally an attempt will be made to foresee future developments of this technique, which is obviously not an easy task.

Keywords : history of continuum source AAS; background correction; non-metals determination; multi-element determination; direct solid sample analysis.

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