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Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 130-134

Acquisition and analysis of GFAAS data

1The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB9 2QJ, UK
2School of Applied Sciences, The Polytechnic, Wulfruma Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1SB, UK

Copyright © 1988 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since its inception as an analytical technique some 30 years ago atomic absorption spectrometry has become a firmly established method for the analysis of trace metals. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry provides the analyst with the capability of analysis of solutions containing μg l-1 levels of the analyte, but, because of the transient nature of the signals, a sophisticated approach to the data aquisition and handling of data is required. Most modern commercial graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometers have built in microprocessors for this purpose but they often have limited capability for extensible user programs and limited data storage facilities. In this communication we describe the use of an Apple IIe microcomputer for the acquisition of data from a Pye Unicam SP9 graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. Details of the interface which utilizes an in-house designed AD converter, and an overview of the Pascal and assembler programs employed are given. The system allows the user to record, store and dump the graphical display of the furnace signalsfor all analyses performed. Files containing details of peak height, and area are formatted on an eight-column spreadsheet. Details of sample type, concentrations of standards, dilutions and replication are entered from the keyboard. The calibration graph is constructed using a moving quadratic fit routine and the concentrations of the analyte in unknown solutions calculated. In addition to this, greater processing power and integration of the data into other analytical schemes can be achieved by exporting the data to other software packages and computers. Details of data transfer between the Apple IIe and an Amstrad PC 1512 are given. Some examples of the use of the system in the development of an analytical methodfor silver in plant material are given.