The Elements Present in a Mixed Emission Spectrum

Process and present information from secondary sources to analyze and identify individual elements present in a mixed emission spectrum and use available evidence to explain how such information can assist analysis of the origins of a mixture

  • The ability to identify elements through their unique emission spectrum is useful in determining the origins of a mixture
  • The development of faster and more sensitive detectors has greatly increased the use of AES in recent years. New improvements in AES technology include the use of plasma to excite electrons, which makes the instrument more sensitive
  • Example applications:
    • Detection of lead poison in a victim’s kidney
    • Origin of chips of paint or soil at crime scenes
    • Identifying forgeries of paintings
  • Limitations of AES:
    • Less accurate than AAS for quantitative analysis
    • Not applicable in analysing organic compounds
    • It is a form of destructive testing since samples must be vaporised into gases