Top 10 Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Trying to find the best atomic absorption spectroscopy? It’s not the easiest of tasks, as there are so many different models available on the market today. Luckily, we have put together this list of the top 10 things to consider before you purchase your spectroscopy machine so that you can make an informed decision that will serve you well over time. If you follow our tips, you’ll be able to choose the right spectroscopy model and get started with your own lab as soon as possible!

Agilent atomic absorption spectroscopy has several important applications including forensic science, pharmaceutical research, mining exploration, medical diagnosis and other industrial uses. 

1) How often will you use it?

This is a big one. If you plan on using your spectrometer every day, or multiple times a day, you’ll want to make sure it has all of the necessary functions and accessories in place that allow for ease of use. Top-of-the-line equipment doesn’t mean anything if it requires an army of engineers and professionals just to use. Go with a model that can accommodate your own needs while remaining user friendly. Also be sure to consider how often you’ll be using your spectrometer because if you don’t plan on using it daily or weekly, there may not be much point in paying for top-of-the-line technology that will quickly depreciate.

2) Accuracy

Atomic Absorption Spectrometers are incredibly accurate and provide highly precise results, making them a great fit for research laboratories. This technology is often employed by geology departments, atmospheric chemistry departments, and analytical chemistry labs. But atomic absorption spectrometers aren’t just for scientific applications; they’re also perfect for environmental projects that require knowledge of trace elements in soil and water. So while these machines don’t come cheap, they do have their place in a variety of industries and applications. If you have plans to purchase one of these devices or if you already own one that is no longer working, make sure that your needs align with those of your current tech before you commit.

3) What are your future plans?

As technology evolves and becomes more common, instruments will inevitably become cheaper. In turn, more and more labs will be able to afford AAS devices (the same way many labs can now afford PCR machines). Now is a great time to get into AAS since it’s still not a mainstream technique. As you consider how your lab will evolve, think about how much impact AAS would have on your workflow. The fact that you need highly-trained scientists and specific lab space means that adding AAS might be right if… you want to break into new areas of research or…you want to make your lab stand out from other labs in your area. It’s also worth considering whether or not you plan on staying in one place for a long time—it may make sense to wait until AAS technology has evolved further before making such a big investment.

4) Can you handle the maintenance?

Upkeep for a scientific instrument isn’t cheap, nor is it light. If you have plans to move around a lot or relocate your lab frequently, an atomic absorption spectrometer might not be a good fit. If maintenance and repair is something you’re not prepared for, consider asking local experts about instruments that don’t require much upkeep or have cheaper repair options. If all else fails, there are ways of simulating an AA spectrometer—but these are more complicated than just buying one already assembled and ready to go. What can I say? Science isn’t always easy (nor inexpensive).

5) What’s your budget?

This question may seem obvious, but it’s often not asked. There are a variety of options when it comes to purchasing an atomic absorption spectrometer. Some are very cheap, but they lack many of the necessary features and capabilities that can improve accuracy and quality. Knowing your budget before you start shopping will help ensure you buy something that will meet your needs without going overboard. As with most purchases, if you know exactly what you want, there’s a good chance you can find something just for you at a great price.

6) Can you live with any limitations?

One important consideration is whether you’re willing to live with any limitations that may be associated with your purchase. In some cases, you can upgrade a spectrometer at a later date if it doesn’t have all of your desired features, but in other cases—especially when purchasing new technology—you may be stuck with what you get. So consider whether you can live with any limitations beforehand, as it will save you time and money later on.

7) Is this right for your lab?

While each instrument has its own features and specifications, it’s worth considering whether you need all that extra capability. If your lab uses spectrometers primarily for nondestructive testing (NDT) applications like flaw detection, you may be fine with a unit that’s less expensive but more limited in terms of science-related functions.

8) What’s your career path in lab science?

If you’re passionate about science, a career in lab science might be right for you. But before embarking on your journey, there are some questions you should consider. First and foremost: Is it your passion? Are you sure? If not, that’s okay—but it’s important to have another passion or strong interest lined up before pursuing a degree in sciences. There are plenty of other career paths out there!

9) Will it fit in your lab space?

The size of your lab space will determine whether or not you can fit an atomic absorption spectrometer in there. If you have any doubts about how much space you can devote to a lab instrument, make sure and check first.

10) Getting support is key!

It’s important that you find a company that is supportive and willing to help you with any issues that may arise. Ensure that your Agilent atomic absorption spectroscopy has a warranty in case of any malfunction, and be sure they offer training on how best to use your machine. The technical support team at Agilent should be able to help answer your questions and concerns about using your spectrometer effectively, as well as provide training tutorials on how best to operate it. Also, make sure you are receiving adequate quality assurance during shipment and after delivery.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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