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Flame Photometry: Principle:

Flame photometry is a method used for the determination of elements which can be easily excited for example, alkali and alkaline earth metals. This method is based upon the measurement of intensity of radiation emitted, in the visible region, when a metal Atom is introduced into a flame. The wavelength of the radiation, emitted tells us what the element is, and the intensity of the radiation tells us how much of the element is present. The International Union of ure and Applied !hemistry "IU A!# !ommittee on $pectroscopic %omenclature has recommended abbreviation FAES "flame atomic emission spectrometry# for this techni&ue. The intensity of the light emitted could be described by the Scheibe-Lomakin Equation:
Where: c = the concentration of the element k = constant of proportionality n ~ !at the linear part of the calibration cur"e#$ therefore the intensity of emitted light is directly proportional to the concentration of the sample%

I=kcn

http:&&'''%resonancepub%com&atomicspec%htm ADVANTAGES:
The sensitivities of the flame photometry for most alkali and alkaline earth 'etals lie in the ppm and sub(ppm range. Flame photometry is also successful in determining certain transition elements such as copper, iron and manganese. (t is a simple$ relati"ely ine)pensi"e$ high sample throughput method

used for clinical$ biological$ and en"ironmental analysis%

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MECHANISMS:

The flame photometers are relati"ely simply instruments %There is no need for source of light$ since it is the measured constituent of the sample that is emitting the light% The energy that is needed for the e)citation is pro"ided by the temperature of the flame !*+++-,+++ -.#$ produced by the burning of acetylene or natural gas !or propane-butane gas# in the presence of air or o)ygen% /y the heat of the flame and the effect of the reducing gas$ molecules and ions of the sample species are decomposed and reduced to gi"e atoms% 0toms in the "apor state gi"e line spectra% The most sensiti"e parts of the instrument are the aspirator and the burner% The gases play an important role in the aspiration and 'hile making the aerosol% The air sucks up the sample !according to /ernoulli1s principle# and passes it into the aspirator$ 'here the bigger drops condense and could be eliminated% The monochromator selects the suitable 'a"elength of the emitted light% The usual optical filters could be used% The emitted light reaches the detector% This is a photomultiplier producing an electric signal proportional to the intensity of emitted light%

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Flame 'hotometers read atomic emissions to detect the 'resence of metal salts, 'rinci'all! sodium ,Na3, 'otassium ,K3, lithium , i3 and calcium ,CA3" )he! measure the flame emission of solutions containing these metal salts and 'erform ?uantitati$e anal!sis of the s'ecies" )he 'rocess of flame 'hotometr! uses a hot flame to e$a'orate a sol$ent, 5hich atomi4es the metal and e&cites a $alence electron to an u''er state" ight is emitted at characteristic 5a$elengths for each metal as the electron returns to the ground state" Flame 'hotometers use o'tical filters to monitor for the select emission 5a$elength 'roduced b! the anal!te s'ecies" Com'arison of emission intensities of un9no5ns to either that of standard solutions, or to those of an internal standard, allo5s ?uantitati$e anal!sis of the anal!te metal in the sam'le solution" Flame 'hotometers 'ro$ide high sam'le recognition through a sim'le and rather ine&'ensi$e 'rocess 5hen com'ared 5ith other e&citation methods such as arcing and s'ar9ing" Additionall!, unli9e gas 'lasma detectors, the! are not limited to onl! a fe5 easil! ioni4ed metals" For these reasons, flame 'hotometers are used 5idel! for biological sam'le testing, clinical research, and en$ironmental anal!sis" :o5e$er, flame 'hotometers are susce'tible to a number of strategic disad$antages due to the lo5 tem'eratures used to e&cite metal salts" *ost of these disad$antages are related to interference and instabilit! of as'iration conditions" A number of 'roblems can affect these readings including as'iration rates, the $iscosit! of the solutions being measured, the flo5 rates and 'urities of the fuels and o&idants being used to stimulate the 'rocess, and the 'urit! of the sam'les being tested" For these reasons, it is e&tremel! im'ortant to measure the emissions of un9no5n or untested solutions under the e&act same conditions as a control or standard solution to ma9e sure that all readings are legitimate and balanced" )he t5o most im'ortant s'ecifications to consider 5hen selecting bet5een flame 'hotometers are the ranges of s'ectral 5a$elengths monitored b! the de$ice and its resolution" 6'ectral and 5a$elength range is a determination of the dis'ersion of the grating across the linear arra!" )his reading ma! also be e&'ressed as the @si4e@ of the s'ectra on the arra!" Resolution is the 5idth of the anal!tical 'ea9 at half its height e&'ressed, generall! e&'ressed in nanometers" )his is a measure of the flame 'hotometers abilit! to se'arate t5o o$erla''ing 'ea9s" At the 'oint of resolution, the t5o 'ea9s are of e?ual height, and are said to be resol$ed if a di' bet5een the to's of the t5o 'ea9s can be measured"