Topic Group 6

Atomic Spectrometry Update – review of advances in the analysis of metals, chemicals and materials

This review covers advances in the analysis of advanced materials, metals, fuels and lubricants, nano structures, ceramics, refractories, organic and inorganic chemicals, catalysts and nuclea materials by a range of techniques including X-ray, ICP, LIBS, mass spectrometry, synchrotron-based techniques, plus non-destructive and ablation surface techniques.

Writing team –

Simon Carter

Andy Fisher

Ben Russell

Mike Sargent (Referee)

Robert Clough

Bridget Gibson

Julia Waack

Latest issue: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2019,34,2159-2216

There has been a large increase in the number of papers published that are relevant to this review over this review period. The growth in popularity of LIBS is rapid, with applications being published for most sample types. This is undoubtedly because of its capability to analyse in situ on a production line (hence saving time and money) and its minimally destructive nature meaning that both forensic and cultural heritage samples may be analysed. It also has a standoff analysis capability meaning that hazardous materials, e.g. explosives or nuclear materials, may be analysed from a safe distance. The use of mathematical algorithms in conjunction with LIBS to enable improved accuracy has proved a popular area of research. This is especially true for ferrous and non-ferrous samples. Similarly, chemometric techniques have been used with LIBS to aid in the sorting of polymers and other materials. An increase in the number of papers in the subject area of alternative fuels was noted. This was at the expense of papers describing methods for the analysis of crude oils. For nanomaterials, previous years have seen a huge number of single particle and field flow fractionation characterisations. Although several such papers are still being published, the focus seems to be switching to applications of the nanoparticles and the mechanistic aspects of how they retain or bind with other analytes. This is the latest review covering the topic of advances in the analysis of metals, chemicals and materials. It follows on from last year’s review and is part of the Atomic Spectrometry Updates series.