Think Blank

Clean Chemistry Tools for Atomic Spectroscopy


Instrumental analysis has continuously evolved in the last decades and determination of trace elements is becoming a routine task in analytical laboratories. Inductively coupled plasmas with argon gas are successfully applied for measurements of emission lines (ICP OES) and isotopes (ICP-MS) for most elements of periodic table. However, a laboratory must have full control of analytical blanks and sample preparation for obtaining accurate results. In this book we discuss how to control contaminations and modern strategies for microwave-assisted sample preparation. Discussions comprehend digestions with diluted acid solutions, microwave-assisted evaporation, microwave vessels with inserts, vapor phase microwave digestion, and single reaction vessel. Modern procedures for sample preparation fully compatible with multielement determinations are presented and experimental data are shown. Instruments and accessories for implementing these strategies are presented. The goal of the authors was to produce a readable text for practical analysts and for everyone interested in the evolution of sample preparation strategies.


  • Inorganic Trace Analysis: What do you mean?
  • The Analytical Blank: How bad could it be?
  • Contamination: How do I control my blank?
  • Looking for an ideal analytical procedure
  • Tools of the Trade: Microwave Sample Preparation Techniques
  • Milestone Tools for Clean Chemistry
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Robert C. Richter
Received his B.S in chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1992 and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1995 under the direction of S. Roy Koirtyohann, who authored the first paper on microwave-assisted acid digestions. He completed his postdoctoral training at the New York State Department of Health, and then worked at Duquesne University with Prof. H.M. ‘Skip” Kingston. He is currently a chemistry professor at Chicago State University and director of the Center for Microwave Enhanced Chemistry (CMEC). CMEC is engaged in variety of microwave research including nanoparticle synthesis, optimization of organic synthetic methodologies, environmental inorganic metals analysis, and integrating microwave enhanced chemistry to Aquaponics system development. He was the lead author on the 2001 Analytical Chemistry A-Page article, “Microwave Enhanced Chemistry”, and the author of the first microwave clean chemistry book, “Clean Chemistry for the Modern Laboratory”.
Joaquim A. Nóbrega
Joaquim A. Nóbrega received his Ph.D. from the State University of Campinas in 1992 and completed his postdoctoral training with Prof. Ramon Murray Barnes (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1996) and with Prof. Bradley Todd Jones (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 2003). He is a Full Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos (São Carlos, São Paulo State, Brazil) and is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Concepción (Concepción, Chile). His main research interests are sample preparation in inorganic analysis, atomic absorption spectrometry, atomic emission spectrometry, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. He is a member of the Group for Applied Instrumental Analysis since its beginning in 1994. He has recently started the Institute GAIA of Spectrometry for increasing interaction with professionals working with sample preparation and inorganic analysis using spectrochemical methods with emphasis in inductively coupled plasmas.
Camillo Pirola
Camillo Pirola is Marketing and Business Development Manager at Milestone. After receiving his degree in Chemistry, Camillo joined Milestone in May 1991 as Application Chemist. His professional career does interlace with Milestone overall growth. Camillo became Application Manager, providing application support to all Milestone distributors around the world. In the late 90’s he became Area Manager for several Countries including Japan, Italy, the UK, Spain, Russia, India and Brazil. While retaining his position of Area Manager, Camillo took in the mid 2000’s the full responsibility for the Milestone marketing at global level. Since 2012 he is also Business Development Manager at Milestone. Camillo has contributed to several scientific papers and lectures and is often invited to give presentations, seminars and training courses worldwide.
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Microwave-Assisted Sample Preparation and Determination of Elemental Impurities in Pharmaceutical Products
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Modern Approaches to Microwave-Assisted Digestion
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Modernizing Trace Organic Analysis
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Revolutionizing Sample Preparation with Single-Reaction Chamber Microwave Digestion System