A direct solid sampling electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometric method for determination of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni and Zn in zirconium dioxide has been developed. Using optimised experimental conditions, very effective in-situ analyte/matrix separation was achieved without any chemical modification. After the measurement, the matrix residue could easily be tipped out from the platform. In the determination of Cr, before sampling, the platform bottom was covered with carbon powder. Quantification was performed using calibration curves measured with aqueous standard solutions pipetted onto the matrix residue from a previous sample run. Sample amounts between 0.5 and 40 mg were applied for each analysis cycle. The accuracy was determined by comparison of the results with those obtained by radiochemical neutron activation analysis and by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry using liquid sampling of digests and slurry sampling. For the nine elements assayed, the limits of detection achievable by this method are between 0.06 ng g(-1) (Cd) and 2.3 ng g(-1) (Fe).