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Understanding Lithium Tetraborate Fusion

Lithium Tetraborate (also known as lithium borate) is the lithium salt of boric acid, a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron. The chemical compound is often used in spectrometry as a fusion flux for sample preparation. Samples prepared using a lithium tetraborate fusion flux are highly accurate, and materials such as glass, cement, steel, nickel, and copper often use this method.

Lithium Tetraborate Fusion Flux Considerations 

When using a fusion flux for sample preparation, there are specific considerations that must be made to ensure the best sample. The flux must be of a high quality, with little to no impurities, and for successful mixing, it must have a physical structure that is similar to the sample.

The flux has to be pre-fused to ensure th...

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Choosing a Platinum Crucible

One of the most valuable tools of the analytical chemist is the platinum crucible. Platinum crucibles are commonly used for XRF sample preparation, wet chemistry, ash testing, and Loss on Ignition (LOI) applications.

Platinum crucibles are made with just enough strength required for use in the chemical laboratory. Typically, platinum crucibles and their covers weigh about as many grams as they hold in cubic centimeters. Hence, a platinum crucible with a volume of 25 cubic centimeters weighs 25 grams, including the cover.

Making Platinum Crucibles

This production guideline determines and restricts the thickness of the platinum crucible’s bottom and side wall. The crucibles are crafted from platinum sheets cut into discs or blanks that are rotat...

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What is ICP Spectroscopy?

ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) Spectroscopy is an analytical method used to detect and measure elements to analyze chemical samples. The process is based on the ionization of a sample by an extremely hot plasma, usually made from argon gas.

In an ICP spectroscopy unit, argon gas streaming through a torch apparatus is charged with an electromagnetic coil and lit with a Tesla unit that produces a quick discharge arc through the argon flow to trigger the ionization sequence. As soon as the plasma is “lit,” the ICP spectroscopy unit is switched off the Tesla device.

The electrons accelerated by the torch collide with argon atoms, and occasionally a collision leads to an argon atom shedding one of its electrons. Released electrons are then accelerated by the elect...

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