A methodology has been developed for the analysis of nonconducting' (oxide) powder samples by glow discharge atomization-atomic absorption spectrometry (GDA-AAS). The mixing of an oxide powder with a copper host matrix (1:9) allows pressing of a disk sample for glow discharge sputtering. Sample-to-sample precisions are on the order of 3-4% for iron in a geological specimen. The ability to generate analytical working curves is demonstrated for the analysis of iron by mixing Fe (III) and Al (III) oxides in the copper matrix material. The possible utility of the methodology is illustrated by the analysis of iron in an NBS geological reference material. The ability to perform analyses of these sample types suggests its applicability to such matrices as ceramics, glasses, and refractory-based catalysts.

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