Atomic spectrometry update. Elemental speciation review
This is the fifth Atomic Spectrometry Update (ASU) to focus specifically on developments in elemental speciation and covers a period of approximately 12 months from January 2012. The International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) have evaluated speciation and provided a definition as follows: “speciation analysis is the analytical activity of identifying and/or measuring the quantities of one or more individual chemical species in a sample; the chemical species are specific forms of an element defined as to isotopic composition, electronic or oxidation state, and/or complex or molecular structure; the speciation of an element is the distribution of an element amongst defined chemical species in a system”. This review therefore deals with all aspects of the analytical 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 reviews1–5 the coverage of the topic is confined to those methods that incorporate atomic spectrometry as the measurement technique. However, in the spirit of meeting the needs of the subject, material is incorporated that is not strictly “atomic spectrometry”. For the most part, such procedures are those in which some form of molecular MS is used for speciation measurements, often in parallel with an elemental detector. As the content of this Update shows, the field is now maturing as evidenced by the extent to which the speciation of particular elements or technique combinations have been the subject of review articles. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain the analytical details of the methodologies applied in speciation analysis, particularly where the paper is published in an ‘application’ based journal.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Atomic Spectrometry Updates