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What Makes a Good Reference Standard

Authors: Mitzi Rettinger, Uma Sreenivasan, PhD, Isil Dilek, PhD, Sherri Pogue
Presented at Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), Orlando, FL, September 2010

To ensure accuracy of results in the analytical laboratory analytical chemists must rely on the accuracy, stability, and consistency of reference materials or spiking solutions.

There are several factors critical to production of a high quality reference standard or spiking solution including raw material handling, characterization and potency; certification and qualification of solutions; and homogeneity and stability of the solution. Certified Analytical Reference Standard Solutions prepared in a diluent that promotes stability and packaged under argon in flame sealed ampoules can be stable for many years. This allows the laboratory the convenience of fewer lot changes and more consistent data over time.

This presentation walks through the parameters important to the manufacture, analysis, uncertainty and storage of certified reference standards. Results are only as good as the reference.

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