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Siberian scientists have increased the accuracy of detection of precious metals by 100 times

Novosibirsk and Irkutsk scientists have created the device for express analysis of geological samples, which is capable of detecting extremely low concentrations of precious metals — up to 10 mg per tonne, said Vladimir Labusov, head of the Optical Information Systems Laboratory at the Institute of Automation and Electrometry (IAE) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The device has no counterparts.
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«The device is based on a method that allows to reduce the detection limits in precious metals — gold, silver, platinum, palladium — by 100 times. Usually the detection limit is 1 gram per tonne, in our case it’s 10 mg per tonne,» said Labusov.

The principle of operation is based on the method of scintillation atomic emission analysis: geological samples are ground to powder and then gradually introduced into the plasma of the electric arc. The particles are heated and evaporated, and the atoms of the chemical elements which enter the sample’s composition emit photons at relevant characteristic wavelengths. A sequence of tens of thousands of spectra of this radiation is entered into the computer. When particles containing precious metals enter the plasma, flashes of their spectral lines are observed.

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