With the advent of commercial flow injection equipment, the means became available for the automated computer intelligent sample handling for ICP analysis. This paper will describe our system, which consists of a 36-channel ARL 34000 ICP spectrometer and a FIAtron SHS-300 flow injection instrument. The functions that the system will perform include (1) automatic analysis of undiluted samples with sample introduction by flow injection, (2) automatic operator-selectable fixed dilution and analysis of samples, (3) automatic analysis of samples using computer-guided sequential dilutions to place all elements within the optimum calibration curve range, (4) the use of merging streams to achieve sample dilutions of ∼200-fold, and (5) the automatic addition of standards to a sample and then sample analysis for a standard addition study. By use of the automatic sample changer, up to 76 samples of widely varying concentrations may be analyzed completely without operator intervention. Furthermore, all analyses will be made within the optimum calibration curve range for each element. Additional benefits of the flow injection system include improved plasma stability, improved system precision and accuracy, and lower detection limits for many elements. The means by which these operations can be performed will be described, and data will be presented from the development and use of the system.

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