A quartz trap for on-line preconcentration of Cd species was designed. The cold vapour generation technique was used for the generation of Cd species. The trapping medium was formed by external heating of the inlet arm of a quartz T-tube. The generated analyte species were trapped on a quartz surface heated to the collection temperature, 350 degreesC, and the collected species were revolatilized when the trap was heated further to revolatilization temperature, 1000 degreesC, and hydrogen gas was introduced in the trapping medium. Two-level fractional factorial design and central composite design were used to optimize generation conditions in the flow injection mode. The results of the fractional factorial design demonstrated that the factors and their interactions were statistically significant. Three factors, length of reaction coil, carrier HCl concentration and NaBH4 concentration, were considered to be the most significant parameters in the optimization and their optimum values were found to be 30 cm, 0.3 M and 3% (m/v), respectively. Sea-water (BCR), tomato leaves (NIST 1573a) and oyster tissue ( NIST 1566b) standard reference materials were analyzed to assess the accuracy of the proposed method. For a collection period of 3.0 min, i.e., 6.0 ml sample volume, the 3sigma limit of detection was 1.8 pg ml(-1); the enhancement factor for LOD was found to be 90 as compared with FI-HGAAS. The sample throughput rate was 12 h(-1).