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Energy and Global Security

Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Advanced analytical chemistry support serving the scientific and engineering programs at Argonne and special analytical needs of the wider scientific community

The Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (ACL) provides a broad range of analytical chemistry support services to the scientific and engineering programs at Argonne National Laboratory and specialized analysis for government, academic and industrial organizations, including other national laboratories and QA/QC programs and audits.

Solving Complex Problems

We handle a wide range of analytical problems, from routine standard analyses to unique problems that require significant development of methods and techniques.

To solve unique problems, our world-class chemists partner with research groups across the laboratory, other national laboratories, federal government agencies, industrial and other sponsors. In addition to short-term chemical analysis projects, we also help plan and execute long-term projects by embedding our experts within other research teams. Our scientists join other research projects, which range from building databases to producing medical isotopes. We welcome these types of collaborative opportunities.

Preparing Samples for Challenging Materials

We are experts in preparing difficult samples for analysis. We have decades of experience in dissolution methods for spectroscopic analysis and a large library of proven techniques and standard operating procedures to consult. We routinely develop new dissolution methods for highly refractory samples, such as noble metals, and samples containing elements that are not easily compatible in solution together.

Quality Assurance

We operate under a well-tested quality assurance plan (QAP) that is audited yearly to verify results, and we are happy to share our plan and provide additional QA/QC measures as needed for specific projects. We can also operate under NQA1 standards when required by our customers.

Inorganic Analysis

We perform wet-chemical and instrumental methods for elemental, compositional and isotopic analysis of solid and liquid samples, including radioactive and highly toxic samples.

  • Ion chromatography (IC)
  • Inductively coupled plasma/optical emission spectrometry (ICP/OES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP/MS) with collision/ reaction cell
  • Carbon, sulfur LECO analysis
  • Autotitration: Acid-base, redox, and Karl Fischer water
  • Analysis of pH and ion concentration (e.g., fluoride) via ion-selective electrodes
  • Selected industrial hygiene and environmental parameters

Radiochemical Preparations and Analysis

We have extensive experience in the handling and preparation of radiochemical samples, and we can separate and transform such chemical samples as needed. Nuclear counting and separations analysis is available over a wide range of sample types, from low-radioactivity environmental samples to samples with high radioactivity requiring containment.

  • Gamma spectrometry
  • Alpha spectrometry
  • Gross alpha and beta analysis by gas proportional or liquid scintillation
  • Liquid scintillation counting
  • Kd analysis of soil and rock

Additional Analytical Techniques

  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) on solid
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS)