A low cost, easy to build, portable, and universal autosampler for liquids

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Carvalho, MC & Eyre, BD 2013, 'A low cost, easy to build, portable, and universal autosampler for liquids', Methods in Oceanography, vol. 8, pp. 23-32.

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Autosamplers are ubiquitous tools in laboratories, and an integral part of many analytical instruments. However, most autosamplers are expensive, and as such they are not used in all laboratories. One option is to purchase an analytical instrument without its autosampler, and integrate an autosampler from another supplier. Using scripting, it is possible to couple any autosampler with any analytical instrument, as long as both have a graphical user interface (GUI). Here we show that it is possible to integrate an inexpensive robotic arm kit, which has a GUI, to any analytical device that also has a GUI. The coupling is simple and does not require any electronic knowledge. We demonstrated that the robotic arm worked as an autosampler with 3 different analytical instruments for 8 different chemical measurements: total alkalinity, pH, total carbon, total organic carbon (including isotopic composition), total inorganic carbon (including isotopic composition) and total nitrogen in water samples. The setup is an economical alternative to the common liquid autosamplers.

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