Uncertainty Evaluation of the Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films Technique

Andreas Kreuzeder, Jakob Santner, Hao Zhang, Thomas Prohaska, Walter W. Wenzel

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Although the analytical performance of the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique is well investigated, there is no systematic analysis of the DGT measurement uncertainty and its sources. In this study we determine the uncertainties of bulk DGT measurements (not considering labile complexes) and of DGT-based chemical imaging using laser ablation - inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We show that under well-controlled experimental conditions the relative combined uncertainties of bulk DGT measurements are ∼10% at a confidence interval of 95%. While several factors considerably contribute to the uncertainty of bulk DGT, the uncertainty of DGT LA-ICP-MS mainly depends on the signal variability of the ablation analysis. The combined uncertainties determined in this study support the use of DGT as a monitoring instrument. It is expected that the analytical requirements of legal frameworks, for example, the EU Drinking Water Directive, are met by DGT sampling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1594-1602
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental science & technology
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2015

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