Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Instrumental methods of analysis are essential to meet the demands of the modern chemical industry. Some examples of these methods include:

  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Gas chromatography
  • Flame photometry

Instrumental methods of analysis allow us to identify and measure chemical substances.

Advantages of Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Here are some of the advantages of using instrumental methods of analysis over simple laboratory tests:

  • Faster Analysis – Instrumental methods are faster than traditional laboratory tests, which can take longer to yield results. This is because these methods use automated instruments that can process multiple samples at the same time.
  • Greater Accuracy – Instrumental methods are highly accurate due to their precision and sensitivity. These methods can detect small amounts of chemical substances, which means they can provide more precise results than traditional laboratory tests.
  • Ease of Use – These methods are generally easier to use than traditional laboratory tests. They use automated instruments that can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks, reducing the risk of human error.
  • Sensitivity – Instrumental methods are more sensitive than traditional laboratory tests. They can detect even small amounts of a sample, which is useful when working with expensive or scarce materials.

Interpreting Results

It is also easier to interpret results with instrumental methods of analysis. For example, when identifying metal ions with flame emission spectroscopy.

When the metal ions in a sample are heated to a high temperature, they give out energy in the form of light and produce an emission spectrum. The spectrum looks like a coloured barcode and is unique to each metal ion.

We can compare our sample spectrum with a reference spectrum, which is a known emission spectrum of an ion. If we find an emission spectrum that is identical to our sample, then it must be the same metal ion.