A Simple Modification of a Flame Photometer for Routine Trace Potassium Analysis

  • William R. Knolle


Potassium analysis in the part per billion range in solution by emission flame photometry with an air-acetylene flame should be as routine as sodium analysis in this concentration range.1 In fact, since K is not as ubiquitous as Na, precautions to avoid spurious contamination of samples should not need to be as stringent. However, conventional flame photometers are generally less sensitive at the detection wave length of 766.5 nm for K. Good photomultiplier tube response at 766.5 nm may require a special tube. In addition, the blaze angle of the grating in a photometer is often set for optimum performance at much lower wave lengths (typically 250 nm). This means that for trace potassium analysis by emission flame photometry on a general purpose instrument, the grating and photomultiplier tube would have to be changed. A simple modification of a flame photometer was devised to avoid these costly and inconvenient changes.


Photomultiplier Tube Simple Modification Flame Photometer Instrumentation Laboratory Bell Telephone Laboratory 
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  1. 1.
    G. H. Morrison, ed., Trace Analysis Physical Methods ( Interscience Publishers, Wiley, New York, 1965 ), p. 10.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. R. Knolle, to be published.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. Gabriela, Anal. Chem. 42, 1439 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    With the IL 153 spectrometer a second channel is available that provides detection via a filter in conjunction with a photodiode detector. This particular arrangement was less sensitive at 766.5 nm than the grating and photomultiplier tube detection arrangement.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Knolle
    • 1
  1. 1.Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.ReadingUSA

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