Determination of silver in biological reference materials by neutron activation analysis

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Silver in selected, predominantly biological, reference materials (NIST SRM 1515, 1547, 1549, 1566a, 1571, 1577b, 2704, CTA-OTL-1, and Bowen's Kale) was determined using neutron activation analysis (NAA) in two different analytical modes: instrumental NAA with epithermal neutrons (ENAA), and NAA with radiochemical separation (RNAA). The ENAA mode was based on long-time 5-hour irradiation of samples in a special Cd lined box with counting after 8-month decay. The RNAA procedure consisted in 20-hour irradiation of samples, their decomposition/dissolution by alkaline-oxidative fusion, and precipitation of AgCl including several purification steps. Both methods provided Ag contents in the analyzed reference materials consistent with certified and/or literature values down to the ng•g−1 level.

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