Strategy and Tactics in Micro Trace Analysis of Elements

  • Günther Tölg


In scientific research determining elements at ng/g levels and below implies an additional conception in comparison to normal routine analysis. One of the most important goals must be to look preferably for pertinent methods and to optimize them in such a critical way, that scientific innovations may be realized at best. For this the main problem is how systematic errors in micro trace analysis can be recognized and minimized inherent in the most reliable procedures.

This contribution is to demonstrate in general and by means of some case studies the methodical strategy which has been introduced in the author’s laboratory many years ago.

One example is to show the accurate determination of selenium traces in very different matrices by an optimized universal closely combined decomposition — preconcentration — AAS procedure, which enables now the determination of selenium in the ng/g-range in a variety of organic and inorganic samples of various fields.

A second example demonstrates by means of the analytical characterization of high-purity beryllium the important role of micro trace analysis in an interdisciplinary research project of materials science, which includes also labour medical aspects, with respect to the great toxicity of beryllium. Progress in both fields, which are closely tied to each other is strongly dependent on the state of the practice orientated micro trace analysis.


Systematic Error Trace Analysis Detection Ability Methodical Strategy Threshold Limit Value 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günther Tölg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Werkstoffwissenschaften, Laboratorium für ReinststoffeMax-Planck-Institut für Meta11forschungSchwäbisch GmündFederal Republic of Germany

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