For applications in which instrument selection isn’t obvious, how do laboratories choose which technique is best?
The first and, in my opinion, the most important question to ask is: What are the detection limit requirements for this application? There’s no sense in considering an instrument if it doesn’t provide you with the sensitivity you need to accurately measure the lowest concentrations you’re expecting to encounter in your samples.
Once you’ve determined your detection limit requirements, additional questions to ask include:
What is the range of concentrations you expect to encounter in your samples?
How many elements do you need to measure in your samples?
How many samples do you need to measure per day or per week?
Do the sample matrices contain challenging components (high levels of dissolved solids, volatile organics)?