Types of spectrometers:
The two types of spectrometers for ICP-AES are: sequential spectrometers and simultaneous spectrometers. Those have the capabilities of measuring the various elements present within the analyte in a sequential manner or simultaneously. Of these, the sequential spectrometers are less expensive and more flexible but usually require a higher degree of operator skill and experience. On the other hand, the simultaneous spectrometers are more precise and accurate and are obviously more expensive.
The qualitative analytical determination of different elements on the basis of characteristic emission spectrum has developed a lot. The qualitative analysis is based on the principle that each element has a characteristic spectrum consisting of the most persistent lines and the characteristic lines. On the other hand the intensity of an elemental atomic or ion line is used as the analytical signal in quantitative atomic emission spectrometry. Actually the spectral intensities are unequivocally associated to the elemental concentration within the analyte. Thus, in practice, AES is an associative method and a calibration has to be performed.
An ICP- AES spectrum is influenced by spectral, physical and chemical interferences and suitable procedures are to be followed to undertake analytical determinations using ICP-AES.