Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

Patricia A. Pleban

Committee Member

Billy T. Upchurch

Committee Member

Robert L. Ake

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45V54


The flameless atomic absorption signals of chromium, nickel and selenium are subject to matrix interferences arising from inorganic salts and anions commonly found in urine. The effects of such salts on the atomic absorption signals were investigated using Polarized Zeeman Effect background correction in conjunction with a detector/readout system capable of resolving absorbance signals in 18 msec readings. Both optical temperature control and current temperature control were employed for each analysis. Peak area, peak height, peak shape and appearance time were compared for matrix-free standards and matrix-containing standards.

The influence of the inorganic salts on the metal analyses was found to be significant. Calcium and magnesium enhanced chromium, nickel and selenium signals, although it appeared the cations acted via different mechanisms. Suppression of the signals by phosphate, nitrate or sulfate was most likely caused by absorption from diatomic species formed in the furnace. Such species exhibit structured background and produce Zeeman spectra in a magnetic field. Although use of optical temperature control improved sensitivities and detection limits, the effects of matrix components were the same whether optical or current control was used.

Urine could not be analyzed directly for the metals studied, Adjustments of the furnace heating program should improve the analyses but dilution, matrix modification and the method of standard additions would still be required.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).