Metallomics, elementomics, and analytical techniques

Yu Feng Li, Chunying Chen, Ying Qu, Yuxi Gao, Bai Li, Yuliang Zhao, Zhifang Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Metallomics is an emerging and promising research field which has attracted more and more attention. However, the term itself might be restrictive. Therefore, the term "elementomics" is suggested to encompass the study of nonmetals as well. In this paper, the application of state-of-the-art analytical techniques with the capabilities of high-throughput quantification, distribution, speciation, identification, and structural characterization for metallomics and elementomics is critically reviewed. High-throughput quantification of multielements can be achieved by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and neutron activation analysis (NAA). High-throughput multielement distribution mapping can be performed by fluorescence-detecting techniques such as synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SR-XRF), XRF tomography, energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), proton-induced Xray emission (PIXE), laser ablation (LA)-ICP-MS, and ion-detecting-based, secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), while Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) and Raman microspectroscopy are excellent tools for molecular mapping. All the techniques for metallome and elementome structural characterization are generally low-throughput, such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), NMR, and small-angle X-ray spectroscopy (SAXS). If automation of arraying small samples, rapid data collection of multiple low-volume and -concentration samples together with data reduction and analysis are developed, high-throughput techniques will be available and in fact have partially been achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2577-2594
Number of pages18
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008


  • Analytical techniques
  • Elementomics
  • Metallomics
  • NAA
  • XRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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