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March 8 - 12, 2021


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50 Years of Trace Element Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) at NBS/NIST

  • Session Number: W01-01
Monday, March 08, 2021: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM


Michael Epstein
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


For almost 70 years, the focus of the NBS program for Standard Samples and eventually Standard Reference Materials was the characterization of major and minor constituents in metals, ores, glasses, and similar materials. However, with the development of analytical methods capable of accurate trace element analysis in the late 1950s and 1960s, the potential for characterizing the trace element composition of natural matrices was realized. Work began in the late 1960s for the development of SRM 1571, Orchard Leaves, that was issued in January 1971 and was followed by numerous other natural matrix SRMs. I started at NBS as a graduate student in the summer of 1972 and had the unique opportunity to observe and participate in the development and analysis of many of these materials. This presentation will cover the history of certification of trace elements in natural matrix SRMs including the material acquisition, the techniques, the scientists, the documentation, and the materials themselves over the past 50 years. Much has changed in those five decades but one thing has not changed: the consistent dedication of individual NBS/NIST scientists to the production of accurate reference materials.

Additional Info

Keywords: Please select up to 4 keywords ONLY:
Reference Material,Trace Analysis,Inductively Coupled Plasma,Spectroscopy

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