In chemistry and materials science, impurities are chemical substances inside a confined amount of liquid, gas, or solid, which differ from the chemical composition of the material or compound. Firstly, a pure chemical should appear thermodynamically in at least one chemical phase and can also be characterized by its one-component-phase diagram. Secondly, practically speaking, a pure chemical should prove to be homogeneous (i.e., will show no change of properties after undergoing a wide variety of consecutive analytical chemical procedures). The perfect pure chemical will pass all attempts and tests of further separation and purification. Thirdly, and here we focus on the common chemical definition, it should not contain any trace of any other kind of chemical species. In reality, there are no absolutely 100% pure chemical compounds, as there is always some minute contamination. Indeed, as detection limits in analytical chemistry decrease, the number of impurities detected tends to increase.


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