Due to fast growth in microprocessors, analytical instrumentations in spectroscopy, chromatography, microscopy, sensors and microdevices have been subjected to significant developments. Despite these advances, a sample preparation step is indispensable before instrumental analysis. Main reasons are low sensitivity of the instruments, matrix interferences and incompatibility of the sample with the analytical device. Most of the time spent and most of the errors occurring during a chemical analysis is on sample preparation step. As a result, any improvements in this essential process will have a significant effect on shortening the analysis time and its precision and accuracy and lowering the cost. This introductory chapter intends to draw the readers’ attention to the importance of sample preparation, the procedures of sampling and the source of errors that occur in the course of sampling. The chapter then continues with a heading on sample preparation techniques, including exhaustive and non-exhaustive methods of extraction. Microwave, sonication and membrane-based extraction techniques are more emphasized as exhaustive methods and under a new title, miniaturized methods are discussed. Automation, on-line compatibility and simplification is an important aspect of any sample preparation and extraction which is discussed at the end of this chapter.
Part of the book: Sample Preparation Techniques for Chemical Analysis