Analytical chemistry
Overview
 
Analytical chemistry is the study of the separation
Separation process
In chemistry and chemical engineering, a separation process, or simply a separation, is any mass transfer process used to convert a mixture of substances into two or more distinct product mixtures, at least one of which is enriched in one or more of the mixture's constituents. In some cases, a...

, identification, and quantification
Quantification
Quantification has several distinct senses. In mathematics and empirical science, it is the act of counting and measuring that maps human sense observations and experiences into members of some set of numbers. Quantification in this sense is fundamental to the scientific method.In logic,...

 of the chemical components of natural and artificial materials. Qualitative analysis gives an indication of the identity of the chemical species in the sample and quantitative analysis
Quantitative analysis (chemistry)
In chemistry, quantitative analysis is the determination of the absolute or relative abundance of one, several or all particular substance present in a sample....

 determines the amount of one or more of these components. The separation of components is often performed prior to analysis.

Analytical methods can be separated into classical and instrumental.
Encyclopedia
Analytical chemistry is the study of the separation
Separation process
In chemistry and chemical engineering, a separation process, or simply a separation, is any mass transfer process used to convert a mixture of substances into two or more distinct product mixtures, at least one of which is enriched in one or more of the mixture's constituents. In some cases, a...

, identification, and quantification
Quantification
Quantification has several distinct senses. In mathematics and empirical science, it is the act of counting and measuring that maps human sense observations and experiences into members of some set of numbers. Quantification in this sense is fundamental to the scientific method.In logic,...

 of the chemical components of natural and artificial materials. Qualitative analysis gives an indication of the identity of the chemical species in the sample and quantitative analysis
Quantitative analysis (chemistry)
In chemistry, quantitative analysis is the determination of the absolute or relative abundance of one, several or all particular substance present in a sample....

 determines the amount of one or more of these components. The separation of components is often performed prior to analysis.

Analytical methods can be separated into classical and instrumental. Classical methods (also known as wet chemistry
Wet chemistry
Wet chemistry is a term used to refer to chemistry generally done in the liquid phase. It is also known as bench chemistry because many of the tests performed are done at a lab bench.-Materials:...

 methods) use separations such as precipitation
Precipitation (chemistry)
Precipitation is the formation of a solid in a solution or inside anothersolid during a chemical reaction or by diffusion in a solid. When the reaction occurs in a liquid, the solid formed is called the precipitate, or when compacted by a centrifuge, a pellet. The liquid remaining above the solid...

, extraction
Extraction (chemistry)
Extraction in chemistry is a separation process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix. It may refer to Liquid-liquid extraction, and Solid phase extraction....

, and distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

 and qualitative analysis by color, odor, or melting point. Quantitative analysis is achieved by measurement of weight or volume. Instrumental methods use an apparatus to measure physical quantities of the analyte such as light absorption
Absorption (electromagnetic radiation)
In physics, absorption of electromagnetic radiation is the way by which the energy of a photon is taken up by matter, typically the electrons of an atom. Thus, the electromagnetic energy is transformed to other forms of energy for example, to heat. The absorption of light during wave propagation is...

, fluorescence
Fluorescence
Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation of a different wavelength. It is a form of luminescence. In most cases, emitted light has a longer wavelength, and therefore lower energy, than the absorbed radiation...

, or conductivity. The separation of materials is accomplished using chromatography
Chromatography
Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures....

 or electrophoresis
Electrophoresis
Electrophoresis, also called cataphoresis, is the motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of a spatially uniform electric field. This electrokinetic phenomenon was observed for the first time in 1807 by Reuss , who noticed that the application of a constant electric...

 methods.

Analytical chemistry is also focused on improvements in experimental design, chemometrics
Chemometrics
Chemometrics is the science of extracting information from chemical systems by data-driven means. It is a highly interfacial discipline, using methods frequently employed in core data-analytic disciplines such as multivariate statistics, applied mathematics, and computer science, in order to...

, and the creation of new measurement tools to provide better chemical information. Analytical chemistry has applications in forensics
Forensics
Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action...

, bioanalysis
Bioanalysis
Bioanalysis is a sub-discipline of analytical chemistry covering the quantitative measurement of xenobiotics and biotics in biological systems.-Modern bioanalytical chemistry:Many scientific endeavors are dependent upon...

, clinical analysis, environmental analysis
Environmental analysis
Environmental analysis is the use of analytical chemistry and other techniques to study the environment. The purpose of this is commonly to monitor and study levels of pollutants in the atmosphere, rivers and other specific settings....

, and materials analysis.

History

Analytical chemistry has been important since the early days of chemistry, providing methods for determining which elements and chemicals are present in the object in question. During this period significant analytical contributions to chemistry include the development of systematic elemental analysis
Elemental analysis
Percent Composition is a process where a sample of some material is analyzed for its elemental and sometimes isotopic composition. Elemental analysis can be qualitative , and it can be quantitative...

 by Justus von Liebig
Justus von Liebig
Justus von Liebig was a German chemist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and worked on the organization of organic chemistry. As a professor, he devised the modern laboratory-oriented teaching method, and for such innovations, he is regarded as one of the...

 and systematized organic analysis based on the specific reactions of functional groups.

The first instrumental analysis was flame emissive spectrometry developed by Robert Bunsen
Robert Bunsen
Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German chemist. He investigated emission spectra of heated elements, and discovered caesium and rubidium with Gustav Kirchhoff. Bunsen developed several gas-analytical methods, was a pioneer in photochemistry, and did early work in the field of organoarsenic...

 and Gustav Kirchhoff
Gustav Kirchhoff
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects...

 who discovered rubidium
Rubidium
Rubidium is a chemical element with the symbol Rb and atomic number 37. Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali metal group. Its atomic mass is 85.4678. Elemental rubidium is highly reactive, with properties similar to those of other elements in group 1, such as very rapid...

 (Rb) and caesium
Caesium
Caesium or cesium is the chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28 °C , which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at room temperature...

 (Cs) in 1860.

Most of the major developments in analytical chemistry take place after 1900. During this period instrumental analysis becomes progressively dominant in the field. In particular many of the basic spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques were discovered in the early 20th century and refined in the late 20th century.

The separation sciences follow a similar time line of development and also become increasingly transformed into high performance instruments. In the 1970s many of these techniques began to be used together to achieve a complete characterization of samples.

Starting in approximately the 1970s into the present day analytical chemistry has progressively become more inclusive of biological questions (bioanalytical chemistry), whereas it had previously been largely focused on inorganic or small organic molecules
Small molecule
In the fields of pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is a low molecular weight organic compound which is by definition not a polymer...

. Lasers have been increasingly used in chemistry as probes and even to start and influence a wide variety of reactions. The late 20th century also saw an expansion of the application of analytical chemistry from somewhat academic chemical questions to forensic
Forensic chemistry
Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry to law enforcement or the failure of products or processes. Many different analytical methods may be used to reveal what chemical changes occurred during an incident, and so help reconstruct the sequence of events...

, environmental
Environmental chemistry
Environmental chemistry is the scientific study of the chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in natural places. It should not be confused with green chemistry, which seeks to reduce potential pollution at its source...

, industrial
Chemical industry
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products.-Products:...

 and medical questions, such as in histology
Histology
Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining cells and tissues commonly by sectioning and staining; followed by examination under a light microscope or electron microscope...

.

Modern analytical chemistry is dominated by instrumental analysis. Many analytical chemists focus on a single type of instrument. Academics tend to either focus on new applications and discoveries or on new methods of analysis. The discovery of a chemical present in blood that increases the risk of cancer would be a discovery that an analytical chemist might be involved in. An effort to develop a new method might involve the use of a tunable laser
Tunable laser
A tunable laser is a laser whose wavelength of operation can be altered in a controlled manner. While all laser gain media allow small shifts in output wavelength, only a few types of lasers allow continuous tuning over a significant wavelength range....

 to increase the specificity and sensitivity of a spectrometric method. Many methods, once developed, are kept purposely static so that data can be compared over long periods of time. This is particularly true in industrial quality assurance
Quality Assurance
Quality assurance, or QA for short, is the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service or facility to maximize the probability that minimum standards of quality are being attained by the production process...

 (QA), forensic and environmental applications. Analytical chemistry plays an increasingly important role in the pharmaceutical industry where, aside from QA, it is used in discovery of new drug candidates and in clinical applications where understanding the interactions between the drug and the patient are critical.

Classical methods

Although modern analytical chemistry is dominated by sophisticated instrumentation, the roots of analytical chemistry and some of the principles used in modern instruments are from traditional techniques many of which are still used today. These techniques also tend to form the backbone of most undergraduate analytical chemistry educational labs.

Qualitative analysis

A qualitative analysis determines the presence or absence of a particular compound, but not the mass or concentration. That is, it is not related to quantity.

Chemical tests

There are numerous qualitative chemical tests, for example, the acid test
Acid test (gold)
An acid test is any qualitative chemical or metallurgical assay which uses acid; most commonly, and historically, the use of a strong acid to distinguish gold from base metals. Figuratively, acid test is any definitive test for some attribute, e.g...

 for gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 and the Kastle-Meyer test
Kastle-Meyer test
The Kastle-Meyer test is a presumptive blood test, first described in 1903, in which the chemical indicator phenolphthalein is used to detect the possible presence of hemoglobin...

 for the presence of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

.

Flame test

Inorganic qualitative analysis generally refers to a systematic scheme to confirm the presence of certain, usually aqueous, ions or elements by performing a series of reactions that eliminate ranges of possibilities and then confirms suspected ions with a confirming test. Sometimes small carbon containing ions are included in such schemes. With modern instrumentation these tests are rarely used but can be useful for educational purposes and in field work or other situations where access to state-of-the-art instruments are not available or expedient.

Gravimetric analysis

Gravimetric analysis involves determining the amount of material present by weighing the sample before and/or after some transformation. A common example used in undergraduate education is the determination of the amount of water in a hydrate by heating the sample to remove the water such that the difference in weight is due to the loss of water.

Volumetric analysis

Titration involves the addition of a reactant to a solution being analyzed until some equivalence point is reached. Often the amount of material in the solution being analyzed may be determined. Most familiar to those who have taken college chemistry is the acid-base titration involving a color changing indicator. There are many other types of titrations, for example potentiometric titrations.
These titrations may use different types of indicators to reach some equivalence point.

Instrumental methods

Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy measures the interaction of the molecules with electromagnetic radiation
Electromagnetic spectrum
The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The "electromagnetic spectrum" of an object is the characteristic distribution of electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed by that particular object....

. Spectroscopy consists of many different applications such as atomic absorption spectroscopy
Atomic absorption spectroscopy
Atomic absorption spectroscopy is a spectroanalytical procedure for the qualitative and quantitative determination of chemical elements employing the absorption of optical radiation by free atoms in the gaseous state. In analytical chemistry the technique is used for determining the concentration...

, atomic emission spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy or ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry refers to absorption spectroscopy or reflectance spectroscopy in the ultraviolet-visible spectral region. This means it uses light in the visible and adjacent ranges...

, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy is the spectroscopy that deals with the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, that is light with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. It covers a range of techniques, mostly based on absorption spectroscopy. As with all spectroscopic...

, Raman spectroscopy
Raman spectroscopy
Raman spectroscopy is a spectroscopic technique used to study vibrational, rotational, and other low-frequency modes in a system.It relies on inelastic scattering, or Raman scattering, of monochromatic light, usually from a laser in the visible, near infrared, or near ultraviolet range...

, dual polarisation interferometry
Dual Polarisation Interferometry
Dual polarization interferometry is an analytical technique that can probe molecular scale layers adsorbed to the surface of a waveguide by using the evanescent wave of a laser beam confined to the waveguide...

, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, photoemission spectroscopy
Photoemission spectroscopy
Photoemission spectroscopy , also known as photoelectron spectroscopy, refers to energy measurement of electrons emitted from solids, gases or liquids by the photoelectric effect, in order to determine the binding energies of electrons in a substance...

, Mössbauer spectroscopy and so on.

Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry measures mass-to-charge ratio of molecules using electric
Electric field
In physics, an electric field surrounds electrically charged particles and time-varying magnetic fields. The electric field depicts the force exerted on other electrically charged objects by the electrically charged particle the field is surrounding...

 and magnetic field
Magnetic field
A magnetic field is a mathematical description of the magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a magnitude ; as such it is a vector field.Technically, a magnetic field is a pseudo vector;...

s. There are several ionization methods: electron impact, chemical ionization, electrospray, fast atom bombardment, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization, and others. Also, mass spectrometry is categorized by approaches of mass analyzers: magnetic-sector, quadrupole mass analyzer
Quadrupole mass analyzer
The quadrupole mass analyzer is one type of mass analyzer used in mass spectrometry. As the name implies, it consists of 4 circular rods, set parallel to each other. In a quadrupole mass spectrometer the quadrupole is the component of the instrument responsible for filtering sample ions, based on...

, quadrupole ion trap
Quadrupole ion trap
A quadrupole ion trap exists in both linear and 3D varieties and refers to an ion trap that uses constant DC and radio frequency oscillating AC electric fields to trap ions. It is commonly used as a component of a mass spectrometer...

, time-of-flight
Time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Time-of-flight mass spectrometry is a method of mass spectrometry in which an ion's mass-to-charge ratio is determined via a time measurement. Ions are accelerated by an electric field of known strength. This acceleration results in an ion having the same kinetic energy as any other ion that has...

, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance
Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance
Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry, also known as Fourier transform mass spectrometry, is a type of mass analyzer for determining the mass-to-charge ratio of ions based on the cyclotron frequency of the ions in a fixed magnetic field...

, and so on.

Electrochemical analysis

Electroanalytical methods measure the potential
Electric potential
In classical electromagnetism, the electric potential at a point within a defined space is equal to the electric potential energy at that location divided by the charge there...

 (volts) and/or current
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

 (amps
Ampere
The ampere , often shortened to amp, is the SI unit of electric current and is one of the seven SI base units. It is named after André-Marie Ampère , French mathematician and physicist, considered the father of electrodynamics...

) in an electrochemical cell
Electrochemical cell
An electrochemical cell is a device capable of either deriving electrical energy from chemical reactions, or facilitating chemical reactions through the introduction of electrical energy. A common example of an electrochemical cell is a standard 1.5-volt "battery"...

 containing the analyte. These methods can be categorized according to which aspects of the cell are controlled and which are measured. The three main categories are potentiometry
Ion selective electrode
An ion-selective electrode , also known as a specific ion electrode , is a transducer that converts the activity of a specific ion dissolved in a solution into an electrical potential, which can be measured by a voltmeter or pH meter. The voltage is theoretically dependent on the logarithm of the...

 (the difference in electrode potentials is measured), coulometry
Coulometry
Coulometry is the name given to a group of techniques in analytical chemistry that determine the amount of matter transformed during an electrolysis reaction by measuring the amount of electricity consumed or produced....

 (the cell's current is measured over time), and voltammetry
Voltammetry
Voltammetry is a category of electroanalytical methods used in analytical chemistry and various industrial processes. In voltammetry, information about an analyte is obtained by measuring the current as the potential is varied.- Three electrode system :...

 (the cell's current is measured while actively altering the cell's potential).

Thermal analysis

Calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis measure the interaction of a material and heat
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

.

Separation

Separation processes are used to decrease the complexity of material mixtures. Chromatography
Chromatography
Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures....

 and electrophoresis
Electrophoresis
Electrophoresis, also called cataphoresis, is the motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of a spatially uniform electric field. This electrokinetic phenomenon was observed for the first time in 1807 by Reuss , who noticed that the application of a constant electric...

 are representative of this field.

Hybrid techniques

Combinations of the above techniques produce a "hybrid" or "hyphenated" technique. Several examples are in popular use today and new hybrid techniques are under development. For example, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, explosives investigation,...

, gas chromatography-infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy is the spectroscopy that deals with the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, that is light with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. It covers a range of techniques, mostly based on absorption spectroscopy. As with all spectroscopic...

, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry is an analytical chemistry technique that combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry. LC-MS is a powerful technique used for many applications which has very high...

, liquid chromatography-NMR spectroscopy
NMR spectroscopy
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy, is a research technique that exploits the magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei to determine physical and chemical properties of atoms or the molecules in which they are contained...

. liquid chromagraphy-infrared spectroscopy and capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry.

Hyphenated separation techniques refers to a combination of two (or more) techniques to detect and separate chemicals from solutions. Most often the other technique is some form of chromatography
Chromatography
Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures....

. Hyphenated techniques are widely used in chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 and biochemistry
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

. A slash
Slash (punctuation)
The slash is a sign used as a punctuation mark and for various other purposes. It is now often called a forward slash , and many other alternative names.-History:...

 is sometimes used instead of hyphen
Hyphen
The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. The hyphen should not be confused with dashes , which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign which is also longer...

, especially if the name of one of the methods contains a hyphen itself.

Microscopy


The visualization of single molecules, single cells, biological tissues and nanomaterials is an important and attractive approach in analytical science. Also, hybridization with other traditional analytical tools is revolutionizing analytical science. Microscopy
Microscopy
Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye...

 can be categorized into three different fields: optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy
Scanning probe microscopy
Scanning Probe Microscopy is a branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen. An image of the surface is obtained by mechanically moving the probe in a raster scan of the specimen, line by line, and recording the probe-surface interaction as a...

. Recently, this field is rapidly progressing because of the rapid development of the computer and camera industries.

Lab-on-a-chip


Devices that integrate (multiple) laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size and that are capable of handling extremely small fluid volumes down to less than pico liters.

Standard curve

A general method for analysis of concentration involves the creation of a calibration curve
Calibration curve
In analytical chemistry, a calibration curve is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration...

. This allows for determination of the amount of a chemical in a material by comparing the results of unknown sample to those of a series known standards. If the concentration of element or compound in a sample is too high for the detection range of the technique, it can simply be diluted in a pure solvent. If the amount in the sample is below an instrument's range of measurement, the method of addition can be used. In this method a known quantity of the element or compound under study is added, and the difference between the concentration added, and the concentration observed is the amount actually in the sample.

Internal standards

Sometimes an internal standard
Internal standard
An internal standard in analytical chemistry is a chemical substance that is added in a constant amount to samples, the blank and calibration standards in a chemical analysis. This substance can then be used for calibration by plotting the ratio of the analyte signal to the internal standard signal...

 is added at a known concentration directly to an analytical sample to aid in quantitation. The amount of analyte present is then determined relative to the internal standard as a calibrant.

Standard addition

The method of standard addition
Standard Addition
The method of standard addition is used in instrumental analysis to determine concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparison to a set of samples of known concentration, similar to using a calibration curve...

 is used in instrumental analysis to determine concentration of a substance (analyte
Analyte
An analyte, or component , is a substance or chemical constituent that is of interest in an analytical procedure. Grammatically, it is important to note that experiments always seek to measure properties of analytes—and that analytes themselves can never be measured. For instance, one cannot...

) in an unknown sample by comparison to a set of samples of known concentration, similar to using a calibration curve
Calibration curve
In analytical chemistry, a calibration curve is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration...

. Standard addition can be applied to most analytical techniques and is used instead of a calibration curve
Calibration curve
In analytical chemistry, a calibration curve is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration...

 to solve the matrix effect problem.

Signals and noise

One of the most important components of analytical chemistry is maximizing the desired signal while minimizing the associated noise
Noise (electronics)
Electronic noise is a random fluctuation in an electrical signal, a characteristic of all electronic circuits. Noise generated by electronic devices varies greatly, as it can be produced by several different effects...

. The analytical figure of merit is known as the signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise...

 (S/N or SNR).

Noise can arise from environmental factors as well as from fundamental physical processes.

Thermal noise

Thermal noise results from the motion of charge carriers (usually electrons) in an electrical circuit generated by their thermal motion. Thermal noise is white noise
White noise
White noise is a random signal with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal contains equal power within a fixed bandwidth at any center frequency...

 meaning that the power spectral density
Spectral density
In statistical signal processing and physics, the spectral density, power spectral density , or energy spectral density , is a positive real function of a frequency variable associated with a stationary stochastic process, or a deterministic function of time, which has dimensions of power per hertz...

 is constant throughout the frequency spectrum
Frequency spectrum
The frequency spectrum of a time-domain signal is a representation of that signal in the frequency domain. The frequency spectrum can be generated via a Fourier transform of the signal, and the resulting values are usually presented as amplitude and phase, both plotted versus frequency.Any signal...

.

The root mean square
Root mean square
In mathematics, the root mean square , also known as the quadratic mean, is a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity. It is especially useful when variates are positive and negative, e.g., sinusoids...

 value of the thermal noise in a resistor is given by


where kB is Boltzmann's constant, T is the temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

, R is the resistance, and is the bandwidth of the frequency .

Shot noise

Shot noise is a type of electronic noise
Electronic noise
Electronic noise is a random fluctuation in an electrical signal, a characteristic of all electronic circuits. Noise generated by electronic devices varies greatly, as it can be produced by several different effects...

 that occurs when the finite number of particles (such as electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s in an electronic circuit or photon
Photon
In physics, a photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic unit of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. It is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force...

s in an optical device) is small enough to give rise to statistical fluctuations in a signal.

Shot noise is a Poisson process
Poisson process
A Poisson process, named after the French mathematician Siméon-Denis Poisson , is a stochastic process in which events occur continuously and independently of one another...

 and the charge carriers that make up the current follow a Poisson distribution
Poisson distribution
In probability theory and statistics, the Poisson distribution is a discrete probability distribution that expresses the probability of a given number of events occurring in a fixed interval of time and/or space if these events occur with a known average rate and independently of the time since...

. The root mean square current fluctuation is given by


where e is the elementary charge
Elementary charge
The elementary charge, usually denoted as e, is the electric charge carried by a single proton, or equivalently, the absolute value of the electric charge carried by a single electron. This elementary charge is a fundamental physical constant. To avoid confusion over its sign, e is sometimes called...

 and I is the average current. Shot noise is white noise.

Flicker noise

Flicker noise is electronic noise with a 1/ƒ frequency spectrum; as f increases, the noise decreases. Flicker noise arises from a variety of sources, such as impurities in a conductive channel, generation and recombination
Carrier generation and recombination
In the solid state physics of semiconductors, carrier generation and recombination are processes by which mobile charge carriers are created and eliminated. Carrier generation and recombination processes are fundamental to the operation of many optoelectronic semiconductor devices, such as...

 noise in a transistor
Transistor
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

 due to base current, and so on. This noise can be avoided by modulation
Modulation
In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a high-frequency periodic waveform, called the carrier signal, with a modulating signal which typically contains information to be transmitted...

 of the signal at a higher frequency, for example through the use of a lock-in amplifier
Lock-in amplifier
A lock-in amplifier is a type of amplifier that can extract a signal with a known carrier wave from an extremely noisy environment . It is essentially a homodyne with an extremely low pass filter...

.

Environmental noise

Environmental noise
Environmental noise
Environmental noise is the summary of noise from transport, industrial and recreational activities.The definition is pursuant to the directive 2002/49/EC article 10.1. This directive should give a common approach intended to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of environmental noise. The...

 arises from the surroundings of the analytical instrument. Sources of electromagnetic noise are power lines, radio and television stations, wireless devices, Compact fluorescent lamp
Compact fluorescent lamp
A compact fluorescent lamp , also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures formerly used for incandescent lamps...

s and electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

s. Many of these noise sources are narrow bandwidth and therefore can be avoided. Temperature and vibration isolation
Vibration isolation
Vibration isolation is the process of isolating an object, such as a piece of equipment, from the source of vibrations.-Passive isolation:Passive vibration isolation systems consist essentially of a mass, spring and damper ....

 may be required for some instruments.

Noise reduction

Noise reduction can be accomplished either in hardware
Hardware
Hardware is a general term for equipment such as keys, locks, hinges, latches, handles, wire, chains, plumbing supplies, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts. Household hardware is typically sold in hardware stores....

 or software. Examples of hardware noise reduction are the use of shielded cable
Shielded cable
A shielded or screened cable is an electrical cable of one or more insulated conductors enclosed by a common conductive layer. The shield may be composed of braided strands of copper , a non-braided spiral winding of copper tape, or a layer of conducting polymer. Usually, this shield is covered...

, analog filtering, and signal modulation. Examples of software noise reduction are digital filter
Digital filter
In electronics, computer science and mathematics, a digital filter is a system that performs mathematical operations on a sampled, discrete-time signal to reduce or enhance certain aspects of that signal. This is in contrast to the other major type of electronic filter, the analog filter, which is...

ing, ensemble average
Ensemble average
In statistical mechanics, the ensemble average is defined as the mean of a quantity that is a function of the micro-state of a system , according to the distribution of the system on its micro-states in this ensemble....

, boxcar average, and correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 methods.

Applications

Analytical chemistry research is largely driven by performance (sensitivity, selectivity, robustness, linear range
Linear range
The linear range is that range of input or output values for which an electronic amplifier produces an output signal that is a direct, linear function of the input signal. That is, the output can be represented by the equation:...

, accuracy, precision, and speed), and cost (purchase, operation, training, time, and space). Among the main branches of contemporary analytical atomic spectrometry, the most widespread and universal are optical and mass spectrometry. In the direct elemental analysis of solid samples, the new leaders are laser-induced breakdown and laser ablation
Laser ablation
Laser ablation is the process of removing material from a solid surface by irradiating it with a laser beam. At low laser flux, the material is heated by the absorbed laser energy and evaporates or sublimates. At high laser flux, the material is typically converted to a plasma...

 mass spectrometry, and the related techniques with transfer of the laser ablation products into inductively coupled plasma
Inductively coupled plasma
An inductively coupled plasma is a type of plasma source in which the energy is supplied by electric currents which are produced by electromagnetic induction, that is, by time-varying magnetic fields.-Operation:...

. Advances in design of diode lasers and optical parametric oscillators promote developments in fluorescence and ionization spectrometry and also in absorption techniques where uses of optical cavities for increased effective absorption pathlength are expected to expand. Steady progress and growth in applications of plasma- and laser-based methods are noticeable. An interest towards the absolute (standardless) analysis has revived, particularly in the emission spectrometry.

A lot of effort is put in shrinking the analysis techniques to chip
Integrated circuit
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

 size. Although there are few examples of such systems competitive with traditional analysis techniques, potential advantages include size/portability, speed, and cost. (micro Total Analysis System
Total analysis system
Total Analysis System describes a device that automates and includes all necessary steps for chemical analysis of a sample e.g. sampling, sample transport, filtration, dilution, chemical reactions, separation and detection....

 (µTAS) or Lab-on-a-chip
Lab-on-a-chip
A lab-on-a-chip is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size. LOCs deal with the handling of extremely small fluid volumes down to less than pico liters. Lab-on-a-chip devices are a subset of MEMS devices...

). Microscale chemistry
Microscale chemistry
Microscale Chemistry is a teaching method widely used at school and at university levels, working with small quantities of chemical substances...

 reduces the amounts of chemicals used.

Much effort is also put into analyzing biological systems. Examples of rapidly expanding fields in this area are:
  • Genomics
    Genomics
    Genomics is a discipline in genetics concerning the study of the genomes of organisms. The field includes intensive efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping efforts. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as heterosis,...

     - DNA sequencing
    DNA sequencing
    DNA sequencing includes several methods and technologies that are used for determining the order of the nucleotide bases—adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine—in a molecule of DNA....

     and its related research. Genetic fingerprinting
    Genetic fingerprinting
    DNA profiling is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals by their respective DNA profiles. DNA profiles are encrypted sets of numbers that reflect a person's DNA makeup, which can also be used as the person's identifier...

     and DNA microarray
    DNA microarray
    A DNA microarray is a collection of microscopic DNA spots attached to a solid surface. Scientists use DNA microarrays to measure the expression levels of large numbers of genes simultaneously or to genotype multiple regions of a genome...

     are very popular tools and research fields.
  • Proteomics
    Proteomics
    Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. The term "proteomics" was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with...

     - the analysis of protein concentrations and modifications, especially in response to various stressors, at various developmental stages, or in various parts of the body.
  • Metabolomics
    Metabolomics
    Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites. Specifically, metabolomics is the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind", the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles...

     - similar to proteomics, but dealing with metabolites.
  • Transcriptomics - mRNA and its associated field
  • Lipidomics
    Lipidomics
    Lipidomics may be defined as the large-scale study of pathways and networks of cellular lipids in biological systems The word "lipidome" is used to describe the complete lipid profile within a cell, tissue or organism and is a subset of the "metabolome" which also includes the three other major...

     - lipids and its associated field
  • Peptidomics - peptides and its associated field
  • Metalomics - similar to proteomics and metabolomics, but dealing with metal concentrations and especially with their binding to proteins and other molecules.


Analytical chemistry has played critical roles in the understanding of basic science to a variety of practical applications, such as biomedical applications, environmental monitoring, quality control of industrial manufacturing, forensic science and so on.

The recent developments of computer automation and information technologies have innervated analytical chemistry to initiate a number of new biological fields. For example, automated DNA sequencing machines were the basis to complete human genome projects leading to the birth of genomics
Genomics
Genomics is a discipline in genetics concerning the study of the genomes of organisms. The field includes intensive efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping efforts. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as heterosis,...

. Protein identification and peptide sequencing by mass spectrometry opened a new field of proteomics
Proteomics
Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. The term "proteomics" was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with...

. Furthermore, a number of ~omics based on analytical chemistry have become important areas in modern biology.

Also, analytical chemistry has been an indispensable area in the development of nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

. Surface characterization instruments, electron microscopes and scanning probe microscopes enables scientists to visualize atomic structures with chemical characterizations.

Among active contemporary analytical chemistry research fields, micro total analysis system
Total analysis system
Total Analysis System describes a device that automates and includes all necessary steps for chemical analysis of a sample e.g. sampling, sample transport, filtration, dilution, chemical reactions, separation and detection....

 is considered as a great promise of revolutionary technology. In this approach, integrated and miniaturized analytical systems are being developed to control and analyze single cells and single molecules. This cutting-edge technology has a promising potential of leading a new revolution in science as integrated circuits did in computer developments.

See also

  • AutoAnalyzer
    AutoAnalyzer
    AutoAnalyzer is an automated analyzer using a special flow technique named "continuous flow analysis " first made by the Technicon Corporation. The instrument was invented 1957 by Leonard Skeggs, PhD and commercialized by Jack Whitehead's Technicon Corporation...

  • List of chemical analysis methods
  • List of materials analysis methods
  • Important publications in analytical chemistry
  • Measurement Science and Technology
    Measurement Science and Technology
    Measurement Science and Technology is a journal published by Institute of Physics Publishing. It is an international journal publishing articles in the areas of measurement, instrumentation and sensor technology in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and the environmental life sciences, from...

     - journal
  • Sensory analysis
    Sensory analysis
    Sensory analysis is a scientific discipline that applies principles of experimental design and statistical analysis to the use of human senses for the purposes of evaluating consumer products. The discipline requires panels of human assessors, on whom the products are tested, and recording the...

     - in the field of Food science
    Food science
    Food science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of foods, beginning with harvesting or slaughtering, and ending with its cooking and consumption, an ideology commonly referred to as "from field to fork"...

  • Virtual instrumentation
    Virtual instrumentation
    Virtual instrumentation is the use of customizable software and modular measurement hardware to create user-defined measurement systems, called virtual instruments....

  • Water chemistry analysis
    Water chemistry analysis
    Water chemistry analyses are carried out to identify and quantify the chemical components and properties of a certain water. This include pH, major cations and anions, trace elements and isotopes. Water chemistry analysis is used extensively to determine the possible uses a water may have or to...

  • Working range
    Working range
    Each instrument used in analytical chemistry has a useful working range. This is the range of concentration that can be adequately determined by the instrument, where the instrument provides a useful signal that can be related to the concentration of the analyte.All instruments have an upper and a...

  • Metrology
    Metrology
    Metrology is the science of measurement. Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement. The word comes from Greek μέτρον , "measure" + "λόγος" , amongst others meaning "speech, oration, discourse, quote, study, calculation, reason"...

  • Measurement uncertainty
    Measurement uncertainty
    In metrology, measurement uncertainty is a non-negative parameter characterizing the dispersion of the values attributed to a measured quantity. The uncertainty has a probabilistic basis and reflects incomplete knowledge of the quantity. All measurements are subject to uncertainty and a measured...

  • Microanalysis
    Microanalysis
    Microanalysis is the chemical identification and quantitative analysis of very small amounts of chemical substances or very small surfaces of material...


External links

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