Trace Metals Analysis

We develop and apply unique qualitative and quantitative methods to determine trace metals in environmental, biological, geological, and clinical samples. Our work supports the needs of government and university research programs as well as the pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries. In the emerging field of metallomics, we perform isolation, quantitation, and structural determination of covalently bound metals in proteins or metal-protein complexes.

Focus Areas

Major Instrumentation and Facilities

  • Atomic spectroscopy, including inductively coupled plasma-sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SF-MS), inductively coupled plasma-quadrupole mass spectrometry (ICP-Q-MS), inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES)
  • Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), HPLC, ion chromatography (IC)
  • Elemental speciation (hyphenated) systems, including UHPLC-ICPMS, IC-ICPMS, HPLC-ICP-OES
  • X-ray fluorescence (energy dispersive) (EDXRF)
  • Cold-vapor atomic (absorption and fluorescence) spectroscopy (CVAAS and CVAFS)

Sample Preparation Equipment and Facilities

  • Class 10 hoods and Class 100 and 10,000 cleanrooms (metal-free)
  • Numerous microwave, hotblock, and water bath digestion systems
  • Equipment for homogenization and lyophilization


  • Keith Levine []: trace metals analysis; NTP and pharmaceutical programs
  • Frank Weber []: general metals analysis and instrumentation; elemental speciation
  • David Binstock []: lead programs
  • Andrea McWilliams []: XRF programs