Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

AES Analysis in Metal Samples

Atomic_emission_spectroscopyAtomic Emission Spectroscopy (AES), also known as AES Analysis, is one of the most useful analytical chemistry techniques for direct element analysis of solid metal and alloy samples.

Laboratory Testing Inc. near Philadelphia, PA (USA) performs atomic emission spectroscopy services for the analysis and identification of all common elements in the periodic table. Documented test results can supply qualitative and quantitative data.

Range of Analysis

The spectrometers in LTI’s atomic emission spectroscopy lab can analyze all common elements in metal and alloy samples, including soft metals such as tin, lead and zinc. AES analysis is particularly useful for elements with a low atomic number such as boron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Information about major, minor and trace elements can also be provided.

Test Methods/Specifications

  • ASTM 1251
  • ASTM E415
  • MIL Specifications

The Atomic Emission Spectroscopy Test Process

The test samples used in AES analysis are prepared by grinding the material to obtain a uniform, clean and flat area. LTI’s atomic emission spectroscopy lab works with equipment that has a spark source to create the energetic environment. The atoms in the sample are energized using a rapid series of high energy sparks in an argon-filled gap between an electrode (cathode) and the surface of the specimen. When the spark strikes the specimen, rapid heating of the sample occurs and it vaporizes. The vaporization produces a spectrum of lines from each element that is present in the sample. These spectra are analyzed using a diffraction grating and a set of photomultiplier tubes to identify the elements and measure their concentrations.

According to the basic principle of AES analysis, when free atoms are put into an energetic environment, they emit light in a series of wavelength bands, similar to the diffraction of light into a rainbow. These wavelength bands or emission lines form a pattern that is characteristic of the atom that produced it. Generally, the intensities of these lines are proportional to the number of atoms creating them.

Element analysis by Atomic Emission Spectroscopy entails comparing the emission lines from the sample to known standards to identify the element and calculate the quantity of the element. Consequently, the elemental composition can be determined both qualitatively and quantitatively by the types and intensities of the emission lines.

LTI Capabilities

  • Analysis of all common elements in metal and alloy samples
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Determination of major, minor and trace elements

LTI offers a number of analytical services that are utilized for composition analysis to determine the types and quantities of elements in a sample. Tell us about your sample and requirements to find out which is the most appropriate solution.

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