In this study, dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction was systematically optimized for the preconcentration of nickel after forming a complex with diphenylcarbazone. The measurement output of the flame atomic absorption spectrometer was further enhanced by fitting a custom-cut slotted quartz tube to the flame burner head. The extraction method increased the amount of nickel reaching the flame and the slotted quartz tube increased the residence time of nickel atoms in the flame to record higher absorbance. Two methods combined to give about 90 fold enhancement in sensitivity over the conventional flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The optimized method was applicable over a wide linear concentration range, and it gave a detection limit of 2.1 A mu g L-1. Low relative standard deviations at the lowest concentration in the linear calibration plot indicated high precision for both extraction process and instrumental measurements. A coal fly ash standard reference material (SRM 1633c) was used to determine the accuracy of the method, and experimented results were compatible with the certified value. Spiked recovery tests were also used to validate the applicability of the method.