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The concentration of an element

in a solution is determined by
measuring the absorption,
emission or fluorescence of
electromagnetic by its
monatomic particles in gaseous
state in the flame.

- It is the conversion of molecules to their component atoms
in gaseous state

In Flame Emission
-Atoms in gaseous state in the flame absorb thermal energy
from the flame itself, some of the atoms get excited & as they
return back to the ground state they emit radiation having energy
equal to that absorbed.
-The emission is proportional to the number of excited atoms,
which is proportional to the total number of atoms in the flame
i.e. the sample concentration

Flame Spectra
The spectra of gaseous, atomic particles consist of well defined
narrow discrete.

The resonance wave - length (at which the most intense absorption
and emission occur) is : 671 nm for lithium, 589 nm for sodium
and 767 nm for potassium.

The number of atoms of an element excited by the flame depends on :

1- Flame temperature
2- The energy difference between the excited and ground states.
-The number of excited atoms in the flame is considerably small,
even in the case of alkaline metals which are easily excited.
Sodium at 2500 k0 is excited.
Other metals the number of excited atoms is extremely small
e.g. in case of zinc only 10-9 are excited.

-Any increase of the flame temperature is accompanied by great

increase in the number of excited atoms

Limitation of Flame Emission

1-The number of excited atoms in flame is very small. It is the alkaline
and alkaline earth metals that can be practically determined.
2-It needs perfect control of flame temperature.

3- Interference by other elements is not easy to be eliminated.

4-Heavy and transition metals, the number of absorption

and emission lines is enormous and the spectra are complex.



1-Flame atomizer.
2- Monochromator
3- Detector.
4- Readout meter.

1-Flame Atomizer
a-Atomization of the sample.
b- Source of thermal energy to excite the atoms.
The atomizer is composed of :

Nebulizer, and burner

is a device by which sample solution is divided into very fine
droplets which are aspirated into fine spray or aerosol.
As the oxidant flows it withdraws the sample from the capillary
very fine droplets
Then mixed in the premixing chamber with the fuel gas .

In the burner

The combustion of fuel occurs producing the necessary heat for atomization
and excitation but not ionization .

The temperature of the flame produced depends on fuel-oxidant ratio.

In case of potassium, sodium, lithium and calcium, they

are atomized and
excited below 20000 k above 25000 k ionization occurs.

The flame temperature

2- Monochromator


atoms in the vapor state are subjected to external

source of radiation which produces one line or beam
of monochromatic light with single wavelength

This wavelength is a resonance one for the atoms

and that will be absorbed by them.
All elements can be determined by this technique.


1- Source of radiation

2- Chopper
5- Detector

3- Atomizer
6- Read out meter

1- Source of radiation ; Hollow cathode lamp:

The glass tube is filled with neon or argon at a pressure of 1 to 5 tore.

2-The chopper
its function is to fluctuate the source output.
It is a circular disc divided into four quarters two are mirrored and two are opened.

This process is known by modulation of the source output.

3- Atomizer:

Advantages of non flame atomizer

-The sample volume is small .

- No need for fuel -oxidant mixture.

- Unusual high sensitivity

- No flame noise.

-Solid sample can be used directly.

- Heat distribution is uniform and temperature is steady.

4- Monochromator:
Grating to eliminate other resonance lines from the source
or other radiation from the flame or sample