Atomic spectrometry update: review of advances in atomic spectrometry and related techniques
Strapline: This review of 163 references covers developments in ‘Atomic Spectrometry’ published in the twelve months from November 2015 to November 2016 inclusive. It covers atomic emission, absorption, fluorescence and mass spectrometry, but excludes material on speciation and coupled techniques which is included in a separate review. It should be read in conjunction with the previous review and the other related reviews in the series. A critical approach to the selection of material has been adopted, with only novel developments in instrumentation, techniques and methodology being included. There do not seem to be novel developments that really stand out this year. However, there has been steady progress in understanding how particles behave as they transit through the ICP, and how this affects ionisation and matrix interferences. Allied to advances in single particle analysis by nebulisation ICP-MS, this promises to yield useful information about the composition of nanoparticles. The development of element tagging approaches for ICP-MS has slowed considerably, largely due to the dearth of available standards for biological assays, but some advances have been made in this area which point the way forward. The number of stable isotope systems which are now examined routinely by ICP-MC-MS has grown over the period of the review. Such methods may eventually lead to new insights into isotopic fractionation effects that result from environmental and biological processes which involve these elements. There have been several novel developments in instrumentation, such as ambient desorption ionisation, using a variety of modified sources and liquid electrode plasmas for AES. These hold some promise as low-cost sources that may be incorporated into miniaturised systems of the future.