Determination of trace elements in ambient aerosol samples

Natalie J. Pekney, Cliff I. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A microwave-assisted digestion procedure using HNO3, HF, and H2O2 has been developed for analysis of elements in ambient particulate matter (PM). The samples are collected on cellulose filters and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The ICP-MS is calibrated with external standards, and recovery of analytes is tested with NIST SRM 1648 Urban Dust. This method has been used to quantify the airborne concentrations of a large number of elements, including Ag, As, Ba, Be, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Se, Sb, Sr, Ti, Tl, V, and Zn. For the majority of these elements, recovery of the NIST SRM is within 15% of the certified values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric aerosols
  • Cellulose filter
  • Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
  • Microwave digestion
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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