Analysis of Salts

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Author: Hans-Jürgen Schwarz

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To determine the presence of a salt or visible damage from it, a wide variety of analytical methods are used. Methods presented here may allow a qualitative determination of individual ions or salt phasesa and/or quantitative determination of the salt-forming ions. The fundamental principle of each method, its application and advantages are briefly outlined.

Polarized light microscopy

With the help of a polarizing microscope, the various salts present can be identified through their optical properties. This includes in particular the study of the birefringence and light refraction of the salts. The polarizing microscope differs from a regular microscope in that it has two polarizers - the polarizer and the analyzer. The analyzer is used to recognize the optical properties of a salt by the change of the linearly polarized light due to the salt.

Micro-chemical testing

Micro-chemical testing allows to identify salts in very small samples. The micro-chemical salt analysis is based on the detection of individual ions in more or less concentrated aqueous solutions. The salts are identified via the reaction products that can be observed with a microscope at magnifications up to 100 times. The method can be used on site.

Instrumental Analysis

X-Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD)

Atomic absorption spectroscopy(AAS)

Inductive coupled plasma (ICP)

Ion chromatography (IC)


IR - Spectroscopy

Raman - Spectroscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Other Methods