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Development of sensitive analytical methods for thallıum determination by atomic absorption spectrometry

Arı, Betül
The use of slotted quartz tube (SQT) as an atom trap in atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) provides a more stable chemical environment for atomization; the technique is simple and easily applicable in any laboratory. This thesis study involves application of SQT together with some other approaches to thallium determination by AAS. The first stages involve the efforts to improve nebulization efficiency of conventional flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) with and without the use of SQT. This is achieved by mixing 100 µL of propanol with 500 µL of Tl standard solution using the optimum conditions. By this method, Propanol-SQT-FAAS, 4.49 times enhancement in sensitivity has been obtained with respect to conventional FAAS, method in which the characteristic concentration was calculated as 894 ng/mL. The second stage of investigation is about the use of SQT as an atom trap, AT, preconcentration device for thallium determination. The similar technique has been successfully applied to some other analytes such as Pb, Cd, Bi and Au; detection limits at the level of ng/mL were obtained in the previous studies. In the present work, the analyte atoms are trapped on the inner surface of SQT in the presence of a lean air-acetylene flame for few minutes. After this collection step, a volume of methyl isobutyl ketone, MIBK, amounting to 10-50 microliters is introduced via conventional nebulization; this causes a momentary alteration in the flame composition and thus results in the release of trapped analyte atoms from the quartz surface. This revolatilization step is followed by a rapid atomization and transient signal was obtained. In addition to this method, a novel approach has been investigated where the inner surface of SQT was modified by using a metal coating with low volatility. For this purpose, eight different coating materials which were tungsten, palladium, molybdenum, gold, tantalum, zirconium, titanium and osmium, have been applied to the inner surface of SQT and as osmium was found to be most appropriate one, the rest of the study was continued with Os-Coated-SQT. This modification provided a better surface than quartz alone so that analyte atoms are trapped more efficiently and also released easily. Although the working principle of the Coated-SQT-AT-FAAS method is same with SQT-AT-FAAS, the conditions for SQT-AT-FAAS and Os-Coated-SQT-AT-FAAS methods were optimized seperately. Limit of detections, 3s/m, has been found to be 38 ng/mL and 3.5 ng/mL for these cases, respectively. While the SQT-AT-FAAS method has provided 92 fold enhancement, the Os-Coated-SQT-AT-FAAS method has provided a 319 fold sensitivity improvement with respect to conventional FAAS method.