2. Outline of the System
Q: "How does an atomic absorption photometer work?"
A: An atomic absorption photometer works like a spectrophotometer.
Shown below are diagrams of a spectrophotometer and an atomic absorption photometer. Please compare these diagrams for similarities and differences.
Differences between a spectrophotometer and an atomic absorption photometer
Different light sources are used.
Spectrophotometer: Continuum source
Atomic absorption photometer: Emission line source (the meaning of the term, 'emission line' will be explained later.)
The structures of the specimen chambers are completely different.
Spectrophotometer: Only injects a specimen into a cell.
Atomic absorption photometer: Burns a specimen using a burner, etc as shown in the diagram.
Different locations for the spectroscope
Spectrophotometer: In front of the specimen chamber
Atomic absorption photometer: Behind the specimen chamber
Q: "Why is there such difference?"
A: The answer to this question will become clear, if the principle of the atomic absorption photometer is understood.