Topic Group 4

Atomic Spectrometry Update – review of advances in elemental speciation

This review covers advances in elemental speciation by a range of coupled techniques, including HPLC-ICP-MS, HPLC-HG-AFS and GC-ICP-MS.

Writing team –

Robert Clough

Steve J. Hill

Julian F. Tyson

Chris F. Harrington

Yolanda Madrid

Mark Cave (Referee)

Latest issue: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2020, Advance Article

This is the 12th Atomic Spectrometry Update (ASU) to focus on advances in elemental speciation and covers a period of approximately 12 months from December 2018. This ASU review deals with all aspects of the analytical atomic spectrometry speciation methods developed for: the determination of oxidation states; organometallic compounds; coordination compounds; metal and heteroatom-containing biomolecules, including metalloproteins, proteins, peptides and amino acids; and the use of metal-tagging to facilitate detection via atomic spectrometry. As with all ASU reviews the focus of the research reviewed includes those methods that incorporate atomic spectrometry as the measurement technique. However, because speciation analysis is inherently focused on the relationship between the metal(loid) atom and the organic moiety it is bound to, or incorporated within, atomic spectrometry alone cannot be the sole analytical approach of interest. For this reason molecular detection techniques are also included where they have provided a complementary approach to speciation analysis. This year the number of publications concerning As speciation has fallen by about half, as have studies on Se speciation. Growth areas continue to be Hg and ‘biomolecules’, with the number of reports concerning halogen and sulfur speciation also rising. The number of elements covered this year is again over 20, showing the breadth of the elemental speciation field.