Analytical chemistry

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Gas chromatography laboratory Gas Chromatography Laboratory.jpg
Gas chromatography laboratory

Analytical chemistry studies and uses instruments and methods used to separate, identify, and quantify matter. [1] In practice, separation, identification or quantification may constitute the entire analysis or be combined with another method. Separation isolates analytes. Qualitative analysis identifies analytes, while quantitative analysis determines the numerical amount or concentration. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter. In other words, it is the art and science of determining what matter is and how much of it exists. ... It is one of the most popular fields of work for ACS chemists.

Contents

Analytical chemistry consists of classical, wet chemical methods and modern, instrumental methods. [2] Classical qualitative methods use separations such as precipitation, extraction, and distillation. Identification may be based on differences in color, odor, melting point, boiling point, solubility, radioactivity or reactivity. Classical quantitative analysis uses mass or volume changes to quantify amount. Instrumental methods may be used to separate samples using chromatography, electrophoresis or field flow fractionation. Then qualitative and quantitative analysis can be performed, often with the same instrument and may use light interaction, heat interaction, electric fields or magnetic fields. Often the same instrument can separate, identify and quantify an analyte.

Analytical chemistry is also focused on improvements in experimental design, chemometrics, and the creation of new measurement tools. Analytical chemistry has broad applications to medicine, science and engineering.

History

Gustav Kirchhoff (left) and Robert Bunsen (right) Bunsen-Kirchhoff.jpg
Gustav Kirchhoff (left) and Robert Bunsen (right)

Analytical chemistry has been important since the early days of chemistry, providing methods for determining which elements and chemicals are present in the object in question. During this period significant contributions to analytical chemistry include the development of systematic elemental analysis by Justus von Liebig and systematized organic analysis based on the specific reactions of functional groups.

The first instrumental analysis was flame emissive spectrometry developed by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff who discovered rubidium (Rb) and caesium (Cs) in 1860. [3]

Most of the major developments in analytical chemistry take place after 1900. During this period instrumental analysis becomes progressively dominant in the field. In particular many of the basic spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques were discovered in the early 20th century and refined in the late 20th century. [4]

The separation sciences follow a similar time line of development and also become increasingly transformed into high performance instruments. [5] In the 1970s many of these techniques began to be used together as hybrid techniques to achieve a complete characterization of samples.

Starting in approximately the 1970s into the present day analytical chemistry has progressively become more inclusive of biological questions (bioanalytical chemistry), whereas it had previously been largely focused on inorganic or small organic molecules. Lasers have been increasingly used in chemistry as probes and even to initiate and influence a wide variety of reactions. The late 20th century also saw an expansion of the application of analytical chemistry from somewhat academic chemical questions to forensic, environmental, industrial and medical questions, such as in histology. [6]

Modern analytical chemistry is dominated by instrumental analysis. Many analytical chemists focus on a single type of instrument. Academics tend to either focus on new applications and discoveries or on new methods of analysis. The discovery of a chemical present in blood that increases the risk of cancer would be a discovery that an analytical chemist might be involved in. An effort to develop a new method might involve the use of a tunable laser to increase the specificity and sensitivity of a spectrometric method. Many methods, once developed, are kept purposely static so that data can be compared over long periods of time. This is particularly true in industrial quality assurance (QA), forensic and environmental applications. Analytical chemistry plays an increasingly important role in the pharmaceutical industry where, aside from QA, it is used in discovery of new drug candidates and in clinical applications where understanding the interactions between the drug and the patient are critical.

Classical methods

The presence of copper in this qualitative analysis is indicated by the bluish-green color of the flame Flame test.jpg
The presence of copper in this qualitative analysis is indicated by the bluish-green color of the flame

Although modern analytical chemistry is dominated by sophisticated instrumentation, the roots of analytical chemistry and some of the principles used in modern instruments are from traditional techniques, many of which are still used today. These techniques also tend to form the backbone of most undergraduate analytical chemistry educational labs.

Qualitative analysis

A qualitative analysis determines the presence or absence of a particular compound, but not the mass or concentration. By definition, qualitative analyses do not measure quantity.

Chemical tests

There are numerous qualitative chemical tests, for example, the acid test for gold and the Kastle-Meyer test for the presence of blood.

Flame test

Inorganic qualitative analysis generally refers to a systematic scheme to confirm the presence of certain aqueous ions or elements by performing a series of reactions that eliminate ranges of possibilities and then confirms suspected ions with a confirming test. Sometimes small carbon containing ions are included in such schemes. With modern instrumentation these tests are rarely used but can be useful for educational purposes and in field work or other situations where access to state-of-the-art instruments are not available or expedient.

Quantitative analysis

Quantitative analysis is the measurement of the quantities of particular chemical constituents present in a substance. Quantities can be measured by mass (gravimetric analysis) or volume (volumetric analysis).

Gravimetric analysis

Gravimetric analysis involves determining the amount of material present by weighing the sample before and/or after some transformation. A common example used in undergraduate education is the determination of the amount of water in a hydrate by heating the sample to remove the water such that the difference in weight is due to the loss of water.

Volumetric analysis

Titration involves the addition of a reactant to a solution being analyzed until some equivalence point is reached. Often the amount of material in the solution being analyzed may be determined. Most familiar to those who have taken chemistry during secondary education is the acid-base titration involving a color changing indicator. There are many other types of titrations, for example potentiometric titrations. These titrations may use different types of indicators to reach some equivalence point.

Instrumental methods

Block diagram of an analytical instrument showing the stimulus and measurement of response Analytical instrument.png
Block diagram of an analytical instrument showing the stimulus and measurement of response

Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy measures the interaction of the molecules with electromagnetic radiation. Spectroscopy consists of many different applications such as atomic absorption spectroscopy, atomic emission spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, x-ray spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, dual polarization interferometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, photoemission spectroscopy, Mössbauer spectroscopy and so on.

Mass spectrometry

An accelerator mass spectrometer used for radiocarbon dating and other analysis 1 MV accelerator mass spectrometer.jpg
An accelerator mass spectrometer used for radiocarbon dating and other analysis

Mass spectrometry measures mass-to-charge ratio of molecules using electric and magnetic fields. There are several ionization methods: electron ionization, chemical ionization, electrospray ionization, fast atom bombardment, matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization, and others. Also, mass spectrometry is categorized by approaches of mass analyzers: magnetic-sector, quadrupole mass analyzer, quadrupole ion trap, time-of-flight, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance, and so on.

Electrochemical analysis

Electroanalytical methods measure the potential (volts) and/or current (amps) in an electrochemical cell containing the analyte. [7] [8] These methods can be categorized according to which aspects of the cell are controlled and which are measured. The four main categories are potentiometry (the difference in electrode potentials is measured), coulometry (the transferred charge is measured over time), amperometry (the cell's current is measured over time), and voltammetry (the cell's current is measured while actively altering the cell's potential).

Thermal analysis

Calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis measure the interaction of a material and heat.

Separation

Separation of black ink on a thin-layer chromatography plate TLC black ink.jpg
Separation of black ink on a thin-layer chromatography plate

Separation processes are used to decrease the complexity of material mixtures. Chromatography, electrophoresis and field flow fractionation are representative of this field.

Hybrid techniques

Combinations of the above techniques produce a "hybrid" or "hyphenated" technique. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Several examples are in popular use today and new hybrid techniques are under development. For example, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-infrared spectroscopy, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-NMR spectroscopy. liquid chromagraphy-infrared spectroscopy and capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry.

Hyphenated separation techniques refers to a combination of two (or more) techniques to detect and separate chemicals from solutions. Most often the other technique is some form of chromatography. Hyphenated techniques are widely used in chemistry and biochemistry. A slash is sometimes used instead of hyphen, especially if the name of one of the methods contains a hyphen itself.

Microscopy

Fluorescence microscope image of two mouse cell nuclei in prophase (scale bar is 5 um) 3D-SIM-3 Prophase 3 color.jpg
Fluorescence microscope image of two mouse cell nuclei in prophase (scale bar is 5 µm)

The visualization of single molecules, single cells, biological tissues and nanomaterials is an important and attractive approach in analytical science. Also, hybridization with other traditional analytical tools is revolutionizing analytical science. Microscopy can be categorized into three different fields: optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy. Recently, this field is rapidly progressing because of the rapid development of the computer and camera industries.

Lab-on-a-chip

Devices that integrate (multiple) laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size and that are capable of handling extremely small fluid volumes down to less than picoliters.

Errors

Error can be defined as numerical difference between observed value and true value. [15] The experimental error can be divided into two types, systematic error and random error. Systematic error results from a flaw in equipment or the design of an experiment while random error results from uncontrolled or uncontrollable variables in the experiment. [16]

In error the true value and observed value in chemical analysis can be related with each other by the equation

where

Error of a measurement is an inverse measure of accurate measurement i.e. smaller the error greater the accuracy of the measurement.

Errors can be expressed relatively. Given the relative error():

The percent error can also be calculated:

If we want to use these values in a function, we may also want to calculate the error of the function. Let be a function with variables. Therefore, the propagation of uncertainty must be calculated in order to know the error in :

Standards

Standard curve

A calibration curve plot showing limit of detection (LOD), limit of quantification (LOQ), dynamic range, and limit of linearity (LOL) Calibration curve.png
A calibration curve plot showing limit of detection (LOD), limit of quantification (LOQ), dynamic range, and limit of linearity (LOL)

A general method for analysis of concentration involves the creation of a calibration curve. This allows for determination of the amount of a chemical in a material by comparing the results of unknown sample to those of a series of known standards. If the concentration of element or compound in a sample is too high for the detection range of the technique, it can simply be diluted in a pure solvent. If the amount in the sample is below an instrument's range of measurement, the method of addition can be used. In this method a known quantity of the element or compound under study is added, and the difference between the concentration added, and the concentration observed is the amount actually in the sample.

Internal standards

Sometimes an internal standard is added at a known concentration directly to an analytical sample to aid in quantitation. The amount of analyte present is then determined relative to the internal standard as a calibrant. An ideal internal standard is isotopically-enriched analyte which gives rise to the method of isotope dilution.

Standard addition

The method of standard addition is used in instrumental analysis to determine concentration of a substance (analyte) in an unknown sample by comparison to a set of samples of known concentration, similar to using a calibration curve. Standard addition can be applied to most analytical techniques and is used instead of a calibration curve to solve the matrix effect problem.

Signals and noise

One of the most important components of analytical chemistry is maximizing the desired signal while minimizing the associated noise. [17] The analytical figure of merit is known as the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N or SNR).

Noise can arise from environmental factors as well as from fundamental physical processes.

Thermal noise

Thermal noise results from the motion of charge carriers (usually electrons) in an electrical circuit generated by their thermal motion. Thermal noise is white noise meaning that the power spectral density is constant throughout the frequency spectrum.

The root mean square value of the thermal noise in a resistor is given by [17]

where kB is Boltzmann's constant, T is the temperature, R is the resistance, and is the bandwidth of the frequency .

Shot noise

Shot noise is a type of electronic noise that occurs when the finite number of particles (such as electrons in an electronic circuit or photons in an optical device) is small enough to give rise to statistical fluctuations in a signal.

Shot noise is a Poisson process and the charge carriers that make up the current follow a Poisson distribution. The root mean square current fluctuation is given by [17]

where e is the elementary charge and I is the average current. Shot noise is white noise.

Flicker noise

Flicker noise is electronic noise with a 1/ƒ frequency spectrum; as f increases, the noise decreases. Flicker noise arises from a variety of sources, such as impurities in a conductive channel, generation and recombination noise in a transistor due to base current, and so on. This noise can be avoided by modulation of the signal at a higher frequency, for example through the use of a lock-in amplifier.

Environmental noise

Noise in a thermogravimetric analysis; lower noise in the middle of the plot results from less human activity (and environmental noise) at night Analyse thermo gravimetrique bruit.png
Noise in a thermogravimetric analysis; lower noise in the middle of the plot results from less human activity (and environmental noise) at night

Environmental noise arises from the surroundings of the analytical instrument. Sources of electromagnetic noise are power lines, radio and television stations, wireless devices, compact fluorescent lamps [18] and electric motors. Many of these noise sources are narrow bandwidth and therefore can be avoided. Temperature and vibration isolation may be required for some instruments.

Noise reduction

Noise reduction can be accomplished either in computer hardware or software. Examples of hardware noise reduction are the use of shielded cable, analog filtering, and signal modulation. Examples of software noise reduction are digital filtering, ensemble average, boxcar average, and correlation methods. [17]

Applications

US Food and Drug Administration scientist uses portable near infrared spectroscopy device to detect potentially illegal substances Portable Screening Devices (1435) (8225044148).jpg
US Food and Drug Administration scientist uses portable near infrared spectroscopy device to detect potentially illegal substances

Analytical chemistry has applications including in forensic science, bioanalysis, clinical analysis, environmental analysis, and materials analysis. Analytical chemistry research is largely driven by performance (sensitivity, detection limit, selectivity, robustness, dynamic range, linear range, accuracy, precision, and speed), and cost (purchase, operation, training, time, and space). Among the main branches of contemporary analytical atomic spectrometry, the most widespread and universal are optical and mass spectrometry. [19] In the direct elemental analysis of solid samples, the new leaders are laser-induced breakdown and laser ablation mass spectrometry, and the related techniques with transfer of the laser ablation products into inductively coupled plasma. Advances in design of diode lasers and optical parametric oscillators promote developments in fluorescence and ionization spectrometry and also in absorption techniques where uses of optical cavities for increased effective absorption pathlength are expected to expand. The use of plasma- and laser-based methods is increasing. An interest towards absolute (standardless) analysis has revived, particularly in emission spectrometry.[ citation needed ]

Great effort is being put in shrinking the analysis techniques to chip size. Although there are few examples of such systems competitive with traditional analysis techniques, potential advantages include size/portability, speed, and cost. (micro total analysis system (µTAS) or lab-on-a-chip). Microscale chemistry reduces the amounts of chemicals used.

Many developments improve the analysis of biological systems. Examples of rapidly expanding fields in this area are genomics, DNA sequencing and related research in genetic fingerprinting and DNA microarray; proteomics, the analysis of protein concentrations and modifications, especially in response to various stressors, at various developmental stages, or in various parts of the body, metabolomics, which deals with metabolites; transcriptomics, including mRNA and associated fields; lipidomics - lipids and its associated fields; peptidomics - peptides and its associated fields; and metalomics, dealing with metal concentrations and especially with their binding to proteins and other molecules.[ citation needed ]

Analytical chemistry has played critical roles in the understanding of basic science to a variety of practical applications, such as biomedical applications, environmental monitoring, quality control of industrial manufacturing, forensic science and so on. [20]

The recent developments of computer automation and information technologies have extended analytical chemistry into a number of new biological fields. For example, automated DNA sequencing machines were the basis to complete human genome projects leading to the birth of genomics. Protein identification and peptide sequencing by mass spectrometry opened a new field of proteomics. In addition to automating specific processes, there is effort to automate larger sections of lab testing, such as in companies like Emerald Cloud Lab and Transcriptic. [21]

Analytical chemistry has been an indispensable area in the development of nanotechnology. Surface characterization instruments, electron microscopes and scanning probe microscopes enables scientists to visualize atomic structures with chemical characterizations.

See also

Related Research Articles

Chemometrics is the science of extracting information from chemical systems by data-driven means. Chemometrics is inherently interdisciplinary, using methods frequently employed in core data-analytic disciplines such as multivariate statistics, applied mathematics, and computer science, in order to address problems in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, biology and chemical engineering. In this way, it mirrors other interdisciplinary fields, such as psychometrics and econometrics.

Ion source Device that creates charged atoms and molecules (ions)

An ion source is a device that creates atomic and molecular ions. Ion sources are used to form ions for mass spectrometers, optical emission spectrometers, particle accelerators, ion implanters and ion engines.

Electron ionization Ionization technique

Electron ionization is an ionization method in which energetic electrons interact with solid or gas phase atoms or molecules to produce ions. EI was one of the first ionization techniques developed for mass spectrometry. However, this method is still a popular ionization technique. This technique is considered a hard ionization method, since it uses highly energetic electrons to produce ions. This leads to extensive fragmentation, which can be helpful for structure determination of unknown compounds. EI is the most useful for organic compounds which have a molecular weight below 600. Also, several other thermally stable and volatile compounds in solid, liquid and gas states can be detected with the use of this technique when coupled with various separation methods.

Calibration curve Method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample


In analytical chemistry, a calibration curve, also known as a standard curve, is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration. A calibration curve is one approach to the problem of instrument calibration; other standard approaches may mix the standard into the unknown, giving an internal standard.

Analytical technique is a method that is used to determine a chemical or physical property of a chemical substance, chemical element, or mixture. There are a wide variety of techniques used for analysis, from simple weighing to advanced techniques using highly specialized instrumentation.

Metabolomics Scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites

Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates and products of cell metabolism. Specifically, metabolomics is the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind", the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles. The metabolome represents the complete set of metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes. Messenger RNA (mRNA), gene expression data and proteomic analyses reveal the set of gene products being produced in the cell, data that represents one aspect of cellular function. Conversely, metabolic profiling can give an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of that cell, and thus, metabolomics provides a direct "functional readout of the physiological state" of an organism. One of the challenges of systems biology and functional genomics is to integrate genomics, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic information to provide a better understanding of cellular biology.

Forensic toxicology

Forensic toxicology is the use of toxicology and disciplines such as analytical chemistry, pharmacology and clinical chemistry to aid medical or legal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. The primary concern for forensic toxicology is not the legal outcome of the toxicological investigation or the technology utilized, but rather the obtainment and interpretation of results. A toxicological analysis can be done to various kinds of samples. A forensic toxicologist must consider the context of an investigation, in particular any physical symptoms recorded, and any evidence collected at a crime scene that may narrow the search, such as pill bottles, powders, trace residue, and any available chemicals. Provided with this information and samples with which to work, the forensic toxicologist must determine which toxic substances are present, in what concentrations, and the probable effect of those chemicals on the person.

Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a family of electrokinetic separation methods performed in submillimeter diameter capillaries and in micro- and nanofluidic channels. Very often, CE refers to capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), but other electrophoretic techniques including capillary gel electrophoresis (CGE), capillary isoelectric focusing (CIEF), capillary isotachophoresis and micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) belong also to this class of methods. In CE methods, analytes migrate through electrolyte solutions under the influence of an electric field. Analytes can be separated according to ionic mobility and/or partitioning into an alternate phase via non-covalent interactions. Additionally, analytes may be concentrated or "focused" by means of gradients in conductivity and pH.

Elemental analysis Process of analytical chemistry

Elemental analysis is a process where a sample of some material is analyzed for its elemental and sometimes isotopic composition. Elemental analysis can be qualitative, and it can be quantitative. Elemental analysis falls within the ambit of analytical chemistry, the set of instruments involved in deciphering the chemical nature of our world.

Chemical ionization Ionization technique used in mass [[spectroscopy]]

Chemical ionization (CI) is a soft ionization technique used in mass spectrometry. This was first introduced by Burnaby Munson and Frank H. Field in 1966. This technique is a branch of gaseous ion-molecule chemistry. Reagent gas molecules are ionized by electron ionization, which subsequently react with analyte molecules in the gas phase in order to achieve ionization. Negative chemical ionization (NCI), charge-exchange chemical ionization and atmospheric-pressure chemical ionization (APCI), atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) are some of the common variations of this technique. CI has several important applications in identification, structure elucidation and quantitation of organic compounds. Beside the applications in analytical chemistry, the usefulness in chemical ionization extends toward biochemical, biological and medicinal fields as well.

Forensic chemistry Forensic application of the study of chemistry

Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry and its subfield, forensic toxicology, in a legal setting. A forensic chemist can assist in the identification of unknown materials found at a crime scene. Specialists in this field have a wide array of methods and instruments to help identify unknown substances. These include high-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, atomic absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thin layer chromatography. The range of different methods is important due to the destructive nature of some instruments and the number of possible unknown substances that can be found at a scene. Forensic chemists prefer using nondestructive methods first, to preserve evidence and to determine which destructive methods will produce the best results.

Standard addition

The method of standard addition is a type of quantitative analysis approach often used in analytical chemistry whereby the standard is added directly to the aliquots of analyzed sample. This method is used in situations where sample matrix also contributes to the analytical signal, a situation known as the matrix effect, thus making it impossible to compare the analytical signal between sample and standard using the traditional calibration curve approach.

In mass spectrometry, direct analysis in real time (DART) is an ion source that produces electronically or vibronically excited-state species from gases such as helium, argon, or nitrogen that ionize atmospheric molecules or dopant molecules. The ions generated from atmospheric or dopant molecules undergo ion-molecule reactions with the sample molecules to produce analyte ions. Analytes with low ionization energy may be ionized directly. The DART ionization process can produce positive or negative ions depending on the potential applied to the exit electrode.

Thermospray

Thermospray is a soft ionization source by which a solvent flow of liquid sample passes through a very thin heated column to become a spray of fine liquid droplets. As a form of atmospheric pressure ionization in mass spectrometry these droplets are then ionized via a low-current discharge electrode to create a solvent ion plasma. A repeller then directs these charged particles through the skimmer and acceleration region to introduce the aerosolized sample to a mass spectrometer. It is particularly useful in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).

Sample preparation for mass spectrometry is used for the optimization of a sample for analysis in a mass spectrometer (MS). Each ionization method has certain factors that must be considered for that method to be successful, such as volume, concentration, sample phase, and composition of the analyte solution. Quite possibly the most important consideration in sample preparation is knowing what phase the sample must be in for analysis to be successful. In some cases the analyte itself must be purified before entering the ion source. In other situations, the matrix, or everything in the solution surrounding the analyte, is the most important factor to consider and adjust. Often, sample preparation itself for mass spectrometry can be avoided by coupling mass spectrometry to a chromatography method, or some other form of separation before entering the mass spectrometer. In some cases, the analyte itself must be adjusted so that analysis is possible, such as in protein mass spectrometry, where usually the protein of interest is cleaved into peptides before analysis, either by in-gel digestion or by proteolysis in solution.

Desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization

Desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization (DAPPI) is an ambient ionization technique for mass spectrometry that uses hot solvent vapor for desorption in conjunction with photoionization. Ambient Ionization techniques allow for direct analysis of samples without pretreatment. The direct analysis technique, such as DAPPI, eliminates the extraction steps seen in most nontraditional samples. DAPPI can be used to analyze bulkier samples, such as, tablets, powders, resins, plants, and tissues. The first step of this technique utilizes a jet of hot solvent vapor. The hot jet thermally desorbs the sample from a surface. The vaporized sample is then ionized by the vacuum ultraviolet light and consequently sampled into a mass spectrometer. DAPPI can detect a range of both polar and non-polar compounds, but is most sensitive when analyzing neutral or non-polar compounds. This technique also offers a selective and soft ionization for highly conjugated compounds.

Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry

Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (CE-MS) is an analytical chemistry technique formed by the combination of the liquid separation process of capillary electrophoresis with mass spectrometry. CE-MS combines advantages of both CE and MS to provide high separation efficiency and molecular mass information in a single analysis. It has high resolving power and sensitivity, requires minimal volume and can analyze at high speed. Ions are typically formed by electrospray ionization, but they can also be formed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization or other ionization techniques. It has applications in basic research in proteomics and quantitative analysis of biomolecules as well as in clinical medicine. Since its introduction in 1987, new developments and application has made CE-MS powerful separation and identification technique. Use of CE-MS has increased for protein and peptides analysis and other biomolecules. However, the development of online CE-MS is not without challenges. Understanding of CE, the interface setup, ionization technique and mass detection system is important to tackle problems while coupling capillary electrophoresis to mass spectrometry.

Bioanalysis is a sub-discipline of analytical chemistry covering the quantitative measurement of xenobiotics and biotics in biological systems.

Instrumental chemistry Study of analytes using scientific instruments

Instrumental analysis is a field of analytical chemistry that investigates analytes using scientific instruments.

A variable pathlength cell is a sample holder used for ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy or infrared spectroscopy that has a path length that can be varied to change the absorbance without changing the sample concentration.

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Further reading