Interview of the Month

Advancing Trace-Element Speciation in the Environment, Food, and Biota

Interview with Jorg Feldman, winner of the 2015 Winter Conference Award for Plasma Spectrochemistry, on the use of ICP-MS techniques for the speciation of trace metals in the environment and food.


Macro ATR-FT-IR Spectroscopic Imaging of Dynamic Processes

By Sergei G. Kazarian, James A. Kimber

Macro attenuated total reflection FT-IR spectroscopic imaging is a powerful and underutilized tool. This article presents an overview of approaches and opportunities for using this method to study dynamic processes such as diffusion, sorption, crystallization, and dissolution.

Resonance-Enhanced Nanoscale IR Spectroscopy of Ultrathin Films and Monolayers on Metals

By Kevin Kjoller, Curtis Marcott, Craig B. Prater, Honghua Yang, Mikhail A. Belkin, Feng Lu, Mingzhou Jin

Resonance-enhanced atomic force microscopy (AFM)–infrared (IR) is a new technique that couples an atomic force microscope with a pulsed tunable IR laser source to provide high spatial resolution chemical analysis of samples as thin as a monolayer. The AFM probe tip acts as a small local detector of the thermal expansion of the sample caused by the absorption of the monochromatic IR radiation.

Measuring Orientation in Polymer Films

By Richard Spragg

The mechanical properties of polymer films such as tensile strength and resistance to tearing depend strongly on the orientation of the polymer chains. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy can be used to measure the degree of orientation both within the plane of the film and normal to it.

Identifying Organic Impurities in Counterfeit and Illicit Tobacco Using Portable ATR-FT-IR Spectroscopy

By Sulaf Assi, Paul Kneller, David Osselton, Phil Moorey

Counterfeit and illicit tobacco may contain potentially toxic organic impurities that result in adverse health effects to the consumer. The aim of this work was to investigate the feasibility of the identification of organic impurities in counterfeit or illicit tobacco using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectroscopy.

Identifying Synthetic Designer Drugs Using FT-IR, Raman, and GC–IR

By M. Bradley, W. Jalenak, S. Lowry

Law enforcement relies upon "schedules" or lists of controlled substances. In an attempt to circumvent the law, clandestine laboratories produce synthetic designer drugs that are chemically related to a controlled substance, but are different enough to raise legal issues with prosecution.


Quality of Single Layer Graphene

By Eddie K. M. Tan

Demonstrates uRaman from TechnoSpex Pte. Ltd. is a promising instrument to determine the quality of the transferred single layered graphene on a 300-nm silicon dioxide (SiO2) substrate.

Resonance Raman and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy and Imaging of Few-Layer MoS2

By David Tuschel

Resonance and off-resonance Raman spectroscopy and imaging are used to examine the spatial variation of the solid-state structure and electronic character of few-layer MoS2 flakes. Simultaneous acquisition of photoluminescence spectra with the Raman scattering provides complementary ways of rendering Raman and photoluminescence spectral images of thin-film MoS2.

Improving PAT for Biologics

By Cynthia A. Challener

Implementing process analytical technology for bioprocessing presents unique challenges, but the recent emphasis on establishing a thorough understanding of the manufacturing process is a key enabler of PAT approaches.

Raman Imaging of Live Cells

By Spectroscopy Editors

Raman microscopy is a promising technique for visualizing the distribution of molecules in cells. However, along with the benefits come challenges. This interview with Katsumasa Fujita, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Osaka University in Osaka, Japan, discusses his use of this technique for the imaging of live cells.


Overview of High-Efficiency Transmission Gratings for Molecular Spectroscopy

By Thomas Rasmussen

This article provides a basic overview of the capabilities of transmission gratings optimized for molecular spectroscopy.

Scattering Impact Analysis and Correction for Leaf Biochemical Parameter Estimation Using Vis–NIR Spectroscopy

By Qianxuan Zhang, Qingbo Li, Guangjun Zhang

Simulated leaf spectral data were generated to analyze scattering impact and then compared to experimental data to validate the conclusions of the simulation.

Pittcon 2011 New Product Review

By Howard Mark

Our yearly review of the hottest products at Pittcon

An Integration of Modified Uninformative Variable Elimination and Wavelet Packet Transform for Variable Selection

By Di Wu, Xiaojing Chen, Yong He

The wavelet packet transform (WPT) combined with the modified uninformative variable elimination (MUVE) method (WPT–MUVE) is proposed to select variables for multivariate calibration of spectral data.

Analysis of Fructose, Glycine, and Triglycine Using HPLC UV-vis Detection and Evaporative Light-Scattering Detection

By A.B. de Haan, R. Wijntje, H.A.J.M. Bevers

The development of a method for the simultaneous determination of glycine, triglycine and fructose using UV–vis and evaporative light-scattering detection (ELSD) is described. This was necessary as part of a research project dealing with the recovery of functional peptides from aqueous streams on an industrial scale using adsorption or related technologies. Fructose is barely detectable by UV–vis as it lacks detectable functionalities, while glycine and triglycine are both UV–vis sensitive. An NH2 phase was chosen as a column and separation was obtained within seven minutes on a 250 X 4.6 mm column. Limits of detection are approximately 40 mg fructose/L, 4 mg glycine/L and 0.05 mg triglycine/L. Calibration functions are linear in a range of 40–1400 mg/L for fructose, 5–200 mg/L for glycine and 0.5–70 mg/L for triglycine.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Determining Elemental Impurities in Pharmaceutical Materials: How to Choose the Right Technique

By Robert Thomas

This installment evaluates the application requirements for the determination of 15 elemental impurities in pharmaceutical materials as described in the new United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapters and and offers suggestions about which atomic spectroscopic technique might be the most suitable to use.

Surface Polaritons in Zinc Phosphide

By E. Venger, T. Barlas, K. Shportko

Dispersion of surface polaritons in zinc phosphide (Zn3P2) single crystals is presented in this article for the first time. Surface polaritons in Zn3P2 were excited using the attenuated total reflectance (ATR) method.

A Rapid Extraction Method for Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Analysis of Zinc Oxide in Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

By James M. Koedam

Zinc oxide levels in cosmetic formulations are commonly analyzed by atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy using the fusion method for sample digestion, a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that causes lengthy delays in product manufacturing.

Elemental Analysis of Goji Berries Using Axially and Radially Viewed Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry

By Angerson Nogueira Nascimento, Daniel Menezes Silvestre, Flavio de Oliveira Leme, Cassiana Seimi Nomura, Juliana Naozuka

A method for the multielemental determination of metals and nonmetals in goji berries (Lycium barbarum L.) by axially and radially viewed inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is presented.


Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging Detects Peanut Contamination

New research indicates that near infrared (NIR) hyperspectral imaging (HIS) may be an effective way to detect peanut contamination in processed foods.

VUV Analytics Offers Academic Grant Program

VUV Analytics (Austin, Texas) is offering an academic grant program, available to all higher education institutions in the United States, for research involving the company’s VGA-100 chromatography detector.

Rigaku to Acquire Agilent’s X-Ray Diffraction Business

Rigaku Corporation and Agilent Technologies have entered into an agreement for Rigaku to acquire Agilent’s X-ray diffraction (XRD) business.


High-Resolution ICP-OES for the Determination of Trace Elements in a Rare Earth Element Matrix and in NdFeB Magnetic Materials

By Matthieu Chausseau, Hassanali Savadkouei, Zhaofen Li, Alice Stankova, Philippe Hunault

Rare earth elements (REEs) have become indispensable in many electronic, optical, magnetic, and catalytic applications because of their specific properties such as magnetism and phosphorescence, as well as their ability to both donate and accept electrons.

ICP Emission Spectrometry: Arsenic at 228 nm — Interferent or Analyte?

By Bernhard Radziuk, Joachim Nölte

This article compares several performance criteria such as full width at half maximum, background equivalent concentrations, limits of detection, purge requirements, and results for some substances for the "traditional" As lines at 188.979, 193.696, and 197.197 nm for the "new" line at 228.812 nm.

Improving ICP-MS Analysis of Samples Containing High Levels of Total Dissolved Solids

By Ed McCurdy, Wim Proper

A novel approach to handling samples with very high and variable levels of sample matrix is to use aerosol dilution, whereby the amount of sample aerosol that reaches the plasma is reduced by dilution with an additional argon gas stream.

What New Methods to Measure Isotope Ratios Can Reveal About the Environment, Humans, and the Earth

By Spectroscopy Editors

Multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) has some specific advantages over traditional ICP-MS instruments.

Simplifying Mixed-Food Microwave Sample Preparation for ICP-MS Analysis

By David Gunn

Low-level analysis of food matrices has placed a demand on manufacturers, testing laboratories, and instrumentation vendors worldwide. Stricter regulations, better analytical instrumentation, and greatly improved sample preparation (preanalytical) techniques have focused efforts to simplify and standardize these analyses.

Mass Spectrometry

Simultaneous Determination of Methylxanthines and Cotinine in Human Plasma by Solid-Phase Extraction Followed by LC–MS-MS

By Bodil Hammer Bech, Rossana Bossi

A multiresidue method has been developed and validated for the analysis of methylxanthines (caffeine and its metabolites) and cotinine in human plasma.

Large-Scale Targeted Protein Quantification Using Wide Selected-Ion Monitoring Data-Independent Acquisition

By Reiko Kiyonami, Vlad Zabrouskov, Andreas F.R. Hühmer, Sonia Ting, Michael Senko, Michael MacCoss, Jarrett Egertson

This article describes the development of a new data-independent acquisition (DIA) workflow for protein quantification that uses a mass spectrometer that combines three types of mass analyzers to achieve lower limits of detection (LOD), higher sensitivity, more accurate quantitative results, wider dynamic range, and better reproducibility than existing high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) DIA workflows.

GC–MS Analysis of an Herbal Medicinal Remedy to Identify Potential Toxic Compounds

By Hang P. Nguyen, Irene W. Kimaru

In most countries, herbal medicinal products (HMPs) are introduced into the market without proper scientific evaluation or enforced safety and toxicological studies.

Application of Ambient Sampling Portable Mass Spectrometry Toward On-Site Screening of Clandestine Drug Operations

By Christopher C. Mulligan, Seth E. Hall

Worldwide trends in illicit drug use and production have shifted toward an increase in synthetic analogues and the emergence of new variations in their manufacture.

Unraveling the Links Between Diet and Human Health Using LC–MS-MS

By Spectroscopy Editors

We recently spoke to Gary Duncan and Wendy Russell of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health in Aberdeen, Scotland, about the significance of phytochemical bioavailability to human health and the important role of liquid chromatography linked to tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS-MS) in their research.