Pages 7

The most important aspect of an analysis is to ensure that it will provide useful and reliable data on the qualitative and/or quantitative composition of a material or structural information about the individual compounds present. The analytical chemist must often communicate with other scientists and nonscientists to establish the amount and quality of the information required, the time-scale for the work to be completed and any budgetary constraints. The most appropriate analytical technique and method can then be selected from those available or new ones devised and validated by the analysis of substances of known composition and/or structure. It is essential for the analytical chemist to have an appreciation of the objectives of the analysis and an understanding of the capabilities of the various analytical techniques at his/her disposal without which the most appropriate and cost-effective method cannot be selected or developed.