Determination of ytterbium using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry with europium as chemical modifier

Jie Zhang, SiXuan Guo

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The influence of samarium and europium on the determination of ytterbium by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry in hydrochloric acid and nitric acid media was studied. Ytterbium was determined in 0.2% nitric acid medium using europium as chemical modifier. The merits of this method are as follows: (1) low atomization temperature, (2) high selectivity, (3) high sensitivity, (4) good repeatability, (5) low detection limit and (6) low memory effect. Many common non-ytterbium rare earth and non-rare earth elements do not interfere. The linear range of the calibration graph for ytterbium is 0-15 ng ml -1, the characteristic mass is 1.3 pg and the detection limit is 0.25 pg. This method was applied to the determination of trace amounts of ytterbium in a mixture of rare earth oxides and in crude yttria, and satisfactory results were obtained. The relative standard deviations were all lower than 1%. The atomization mechanism of Yb in the Yb-Eu-0.2% HNO3 system was also studied by X-ray powder diffraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661-1664
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry
  • Europium chemical modifier
  • X-ray powder diffraction
  • Ytterbium determination

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