Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a spectroanalytical procedure for the quantitative determination of chemical elements using the absorption of optical radiation (light) by free atoms in the gaseous state.
In analytical chemistry the technique is used for determining the concentration of a particular element (the analyte) in a sample to be analyzed. AAS can be used to determine over 70 different elements in solution or directly in solid samples used in pharmacology, biophysics and toxicology research.
Atomic absorption spectroscopy was first used as an analytical technique, and the underlying principles were established in the second half of the 19th century by Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, both professors at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
The modern form of AAS was largely developed during the 1950s by a team of Australian chemists. They were led by Sir Alan Walsh at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Division of Chemical Physics, in Melbourne, Australia.
Atomic absorption spectrometry has many uses in different areas of chemistry such as clinical analysis of metals in biological fluids and tissues such as whole blood, plasma, urine, saliva, brain tissue, liver, muscle tissue, semen, in some pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, minute quantities of a catalyst that remain in the final drug product, and analyzing water for its metal content....LESS