Arc-source emission spectrophotometry

Jump to navigation Jump to search


An early 20th century analytical instrument used to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the elemental content of materials. Arc-source emission (AES) spectrophotometry separates and detects the emission bands produced when an element is vaporized. A material is heated to incandescence using a graphite electrode to generate an arc to the sample. A small portion of the sample is volatilized and its emission spectrum analyzed. The emission bands are separated by a prism or monochromator then a photographic plate or photodetector is used to measure and record the intensity of the radiation. While AES instruments were once common, they were replaced starting about 1960 by atomic absorption (AA) then later by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrophotometers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

AES spectrophotometer; Funken-OES (Deut.)

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Paul Nicholson, Ian Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 Comment: P.Nicholson, J.Henderson, "Glass"