Determination of lanthanides by ion chromatography using non-suppressed conductivity and UV/VIS detection

Main document

The simultaneous ion chromatographic determination of trace-levels of lanthanides (or lanthanoides) was achieved by using either direct non-suppressed conductivity detection or UV/VIS detection after post-column reaction (PCR) with arsenazo III at 655 nm. Conductivity detection under isocratic conditions resulted in an overall analysis time of approx. 70 minutes. In contrast, the determination of the lanthanides via gradient elution and subsequent spectrophotometric detection of the arsenazo III-lanthanide(III) complexes was performed within 22 minutes. Besides the outstanding analysis time, UV/VIS detection excelled by its enhanced selectivity and sensitivity and did not suffer from interferences by ubiquitous non-lanthanide impurities such as iron(III) or other transition metals.  For both conductivity and spectrophotometric detection, the inclusion of sample preconcentration steps lowered the limit of detection (LOD) to the sub-ppb range.