Scientific Acronyms

AAS - Atomic absorption spectroscopy is a spectroanalytical procedure for the quantitative determination of chemical elements using the absorption of light by free atoms in the gaseous state. The technique is used for determining the concentration of a particular element in a sample. AAS can be used to determine over 70 different elements in solution or directly in solid samples.

AES - Atomic emission spectroscopy is a procedure that uses the intensity of light emitted from a flame, plasma, arc, or spark at a particular wavelength to determine the quantity of an element in a sample. The wavelength of the atomic spectral line gives the identity of the element while the intensity of the emitted light is proportional to the number of atoms of the element.

AFS - Atomic fluorescence spectroscopy is a type of electromagnetic spectroscopy that analyzes fluorescence from a sample. It involves using a beam of light, usually ultraviolet light, that excites the electrons in molecules of certain compounds and causes them to emit identifiable light frequencies.

APXS - Alpha particle Xray spectrometer is a device that measures how much of a particular element is in rocks and soils. The instrument exposes rock and soil samples alpha particles (a particle consisting of two protons and two neutrons) and X-rays emitted during the radioactive decay.

CE - Capillary electrophoresis is a family of analytical techniques used on organic molecules (e.g., proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, et.c) that separate their ions to allow for individual identification of their electrophoretic mobility. The electrophoretic mobility is dependent upon the charge of the molecule, the viscosity, and the atom's radius.

CV - Cyclic Voltammetry can be used to study qualitative information about the concentration of an unknown solution under various conditions. Concentration is proportional to current and can be determined by generating a calibration curve of current vs. concentration.

DSC - Differential scanning calorimetry is a thermoanalytical technique in which the difference in the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample and reference is measured as a function of temperature. Both the sample and reference are maintained at nearly the same temperature throughout the experiment. The reference sample should have a well-defined heat capacity over the range of temperatures to be scanned.

EDS - Energy dispersive spectroscopy, or called EDXA for Energy dispersive X-ray analysis, is an analytical technique used for the elemental analysis or chemical characterization of a sample. It relies on an interaction of X-ray excitation with a given sample. The fundamental principle is that each element has a unique atomic structure allowing a unique set of peaks on its electromagnetic emission spectrum.

EPR - Electron paramagnetic resonance, or electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, is a method for studying materials with unpaired electrons. EPR spectroscopy is particularly useful for studying metal complexes or organic radicals.

EM - Electron Microscopy uses an electron microscope that, in turn uses a beam of accelerated electrons instead of visible light to illuminate a sample. As a result electron microscopes have a higher resolving power than light microscopes. This can be on the other of magnifications of up to about 10,000,000 times.

FFF - Field flow fractionation is a chemical separation technique where a field is applied to a fluid suspension or solution pumped through a long and narrow channel, perpendicular to the direction of flow, to cause separation of the particles present in the fluid, depending on their differing "mobilities" under the force exerted by the field.

FIA - Flow injection analysis FIA is an automated method of chemical analysis in which a sample is injected into a flowing carrier solution that mixes with reagents before reaching a detector to identify the sample.

FTIR - Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is a measurement technique whereby spectra are collected based on measurements of the coherence of a radiative source, using measurements of the electromagnetic radiation or other type of radiation. It can be applied to a variety of types of spectroscopy including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and mass spectrometry and electron spin resonance spectroscopy (MRSI).

GC - Gas chromatography is a common type of chromatography used for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture, as well as the relative amounts of such components within it.

GC-MS - Gas chromatographymass spectrometry is an analytical method that combines the features of gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.

GCIR - Gas chromatography IR spectroscopy combines the separation power of gas chromatography to the highly specific identification technique called infrared (IR) spectroscopy, based on the absorption of IR radiation by the molecules.

HPLC - High performance liquid chromatography is a technique used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently leading to the separation of the components as they flow through the equipment.

ICP - Inductively coupled plasma is a technique that can determine elemental concentrations of trace to major while detecting most elements in the periodic table. Reliable results can be obtained for about 70 elements with detection limits in the parts per billion range.

IM - Ion microprobe is an instrument that applies a stable and well-focused beam of charged particles to a sample. This beam is used to determine the elemental composition of solid materials (minerals, glasses, metals.

LIBS - Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy is a type of atomic emission spectroscopy which uses a highly energetic laser pulse as the excitation source. The laser is focused to form a plasma, which atomizes and excites samples, thereby analyze any matter regardless of its physical state, be it solid, liquid or gas.

LCMS - Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry is a technique that combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (or HPLC) with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry (MS). Its application is oriented towards the separation, general detection and potential identification of chemicals in the presence of other chemicals.

MS - Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that ionizes chemical species and sorts the ions based on their mass to charge ratio. This measures the masses within a sample to help reveal the chemical structures of molecules.

NMR - Nuclear magnetic resonance is a research technique that uses the magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei to determines the physical and chemical properties of atoms or the molecules in which they are contained.

SEM - Scanning Electron Microscope is a type of electron microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning it with a focused beam of electrons. The electrons interact with atoms in the sample, producing various signals that contain information about the sample's surface topography and composition.

TEM - Transmission electron microscopy is a microscopy technique in which a beam of electrons interacts with a sample as it passes through it. An image is formed from the interaction of the electrons transmitted through the sample. The imaging has significantly higher resolution than light microscopes enabling the examination fine detail as small as a single column of atoms.

TGA - Thermogravimetric analysis is a method of thermal analysis in which changes in physical and chemical properties of materials are measured as a function of increasing temperature, or as function of time. This can then provide information about physical phenomena inherent in the material (e.g., vaporization, sublimation, absorption, adsorption, and desorption). Likewise, TGA can provide information about chemical phenomena including chemisorptions.

XRD - Xray diffraction s an analytical technique used for determining the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline atoms cause a beam of incident X-rays to diffract into many specific directions. This allows for a three-dimensional picture of the density of electrons within the crystal. From this electron density, the mean positions of the atoms in the crystal can be determined among various other information.

XRF - Xray fluorescence spectroscopy is analysis of characteristic "secondary" (or fluorescent). X-ray emissions from a material that has been excited by bombardment with high-energy X-rays. The phenomenon is widely used for elemental analysis and chemical analysis of metals, glass, ceramics, building, and a wide variety of other materials.

XRM - X-ray microscopy uses electromagnetic radiation in the soft X-ray bands to produce magnified images of objects.