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The Slope-Ratio Method of Rose and Cuttita

Volume 26, Number 2 (April 1972) Page 311-312

Liebhafsky, H.A.; Pfeiffer, H.G.; Zemany, P.D.


Rose and Cuttita found a satisfactory solution by x-ray emission spectrography to the difficult problem of determining traces of bromide in saline waters by spiking the aliquots sample with bromide prior to measuring the intensity (counts per second) of Br Kα on pellets of cellulose powder containing the spiked, dried sample. For such samples, the determination of background encounters two difficulties. Since bromide is present, the background cannot be counted directly at the wavelength of the analytical line, Br Kα. Because pronounced and unknown absorption effects by the matrix modify the intensity of the analytical line, and of the background, determining the background on suitable blanks is cumbersome. Both difficulties were resolved graphically by the "slope-ratio method" devised by the investigators. The objectives here are to resolve these difficulties in a different way, and to delineate the physical basis of the background problem.