USA: Joseph A. Caruso Research Group: Elemental Speciation by Plasma Spectrometry
Chemical trace element analysis is a many-faceted and important problem. Trace elements may be both toxic and essential to life. No longer is it sufficient to simply analyze for the total element amount, but we need additional information as to chemical form, oxidation state, organometallic nature, etc. Taken together this set of analyses is referred to as a “metallomics approach” involving total metal analysis plus speciation to characterize the different species of forms. Thus, there is a critical need to develop trace element analysis methods that allow separation of the different elemental species prior to trace element detection. In addition, we must analyze at environmental or biological concentration levels, often with sub-nanogram to picogram quantities. This challenging task requires state-of-the-art methods and instrumentation available in our labs.