Interview of the Month

Imaging Malaria-Infected Red Blood Cells with AFM-IR

In biology, the study of intracellular structures is important and requires analytical techniques with submicrometer resolution. Atomic force microscopy-infrared (AFM-IR) spectroscopy is one technique that has the required lateral spatial resolution to observe such structures. David Perez-Guaita, PhD, at the Centre for Biospectroscopy at Monash University in Australia, is pioneering work applying AFM-IR to the study of red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite.

Quantum Mechanics

This series of installments from David Ball’s excellent “Baseline” column discusses the relevance of quantum mechanics for spectroscopy and why it is important for spectroscopists to know the basics.

Read more.

Infrared (IR)

The Carbonyl Group, Part I: Introduction

By Brian C. Smith

An introduction to the IR spectroscopy of the carbonyl group, exploring why the peak is intense and showing how to apply that knowledge to the analysis of the spectra of ketones

Detecting Blood on Fabrics: Infrared Diffuse Reflectance Versus Attenuated Total Reflectance FT-IR

By Spectroscopy Editors

In forensic science, the detection of blood on fabric is a very useful tool. Therefore, it is important that the methods used for detecting blood be as accurate as possible. Michael L. Myrick and Stephen L. Morgan, both professors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, have been investigating the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy for this purpose, including comparing the effectiveness of infrared diffuse reflectance versus attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform IR (ATR FT-IR). They recently spoke to Spectroscopy about their recent studies and the critical questions they have been addressing in how IR spectroscopy is used in forensic science.

Solving Polymer Problems Using IR Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Naoto Nagai focuses on solving problems for industry. In this interview, he explains his research to determine the cause of resin cracks in polyoxymethylene mold plates using IR spectroscopy.

Tracking Microplastics in the Environment via FT-IR Microscopy

By Michael Bradley, Suja Sukumaran, Steven Lowry, Stephan Woods

Microplastics from clothing, abrasive action on plastics, or engineered microbeads as found in some exfoliating cosmetics are showing up in many environmental systems. FT-IR microscopy is a useful tool in the analysis of microplastics, providing visual information, particle counts, and particle identification.

Miniaturized MIR and NIR Sensors for Medicinal Plant Quality Control

By Christian W. Huck

This work shows that methods based on miniaturized near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy can be used effectively for the quality control of herbal medicines.


Understanding Emerging Biopolymers with 2D Raman Correlation Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Two-dimensional (2D) Raman correlation spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique for analyzing a system under the influence of an external perturbation. Isao Noda, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, at the University of Delaware and Danimer Scientific, has been developing 2D Raman correlation spectroscopy and applying it to the study of various materials, including exciting new biopolymers. He recently spoke to us about this work.

Raman Microscopy Combined with Tensile Deformation for Understanding Changes in Polymer Morphology

By Fran Adar

We show Raman spectra of polymeric fibers acquired as a function of increasing stress and temperature. With knowledge of Raman band assignments, it becomes possible to understand, in detail, the molecular changes that are responsible for polymer orientation and crystallization.

In Situ Raman Spectroscopy Monitoring of the Reaction of Sulfur Trioxide with Polyethylene Fibers in Chlorinated Solvents

By Xiaoyun Chen, Jasson Patton, Bryan Barton, Jui-Ching Lin, Michael Behr, Zenon Lysenko

The apparent reaction kinetics between SO3 and polyethylene are investigated in various halogenated solvents using in situ Raman spectroscopy with an immersion Raman probe, demonstrating the power of in situ Raman spectroscopy to monitor hazardous reactions.

The Effect of Microscope Objectives on the Raman Spectra of Crystals

By David Tuschel

The Raman spectra of a particular face of a single crystal can be significantly different if acquired with different microscope objectives. This article explains the underlying physics of changes in relative intensity and even peak position of certain Raman bands depending on the microscope objective used to acquire the spectrum.

Carotenoids—Their Resonance Raman Spectra and How They Can Be Helpful in Characterizing a Number of Biological Systems

By Fran Adar

The resonance Raman spectra of carotenoids vary with subtle changes on the functional side groups, making these spectra useful for identifying and characterizing carotenoids.


Overview of High-Efficiency Transmission Gratings for Molecular Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

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 Spectroscopy Editors

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

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

By Spectroscopy Editors

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.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Verification of Pharmaceutical Raw Materials Using FT-NIR Spectroscopy

By Ian Robertson, Jerry Sellors

FT-NIR spectroscopy can be used to overcome a range of challenges in raw material identification while also meeting the stringent requirements of regulated environments.

Morphologically Directed Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of Forensic Samples

By Brooke W. Kammrath, Andrew Koutrakos, Pauline E. Leary, Josemar Castillo, Joe Wolfgang, Deborah Huck-Jones

Can morphologically directed Raman spectroscopy obtain more discriminatory information from forensic samples than current tools?

The 2018 Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award

By Megan L’Heureux

John M. Cottle, the winner of Spectroscopy’s 2018 Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award, is a leader in the development of novel laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry measurements and their application to tectonic questions in convergent orogens. His three breakthrough measurement methods using LA-ICP-MS for geochemical data collection are breaking new ground in Earth science.

Testing Electronic Device Components for RoHS/WEEE Compliance Using Microwave Digestion and ICP-OE

By K. Neubauer

The combination of microwave sample preparation and ICP-OES is examined to meet the challenges of measuring a suite of heavy metals in a wide range of electronic components for RoHS/WEEE compliance.


LIBS Analysis of Powder Materials Used in Additive Technologies

In a recent study, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was used, for the first time, to quantitatively analyze powder materials used in additive technologies.

Spectroscopy Labs in Puerto Rico Have Lost All Equipment and Remain Inoperable. We Need to Help.

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, leaving the inhabitants without clean water, food, utilities and transportation. As you read this, the infrastructure is slowly being restored. The news you hear, however, doesn’t indicate the outsized impact on scientists and their families. The Society for Applied Spectroscopy and Coblentz Society are trying to help.

Spectroscopists Learn About Efforts to Advance Materials Testing for Art Conservation at Metropolitan Museum of Art

The December meeting of the New York–New Jersey chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (NYSAS), held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (“The Met”), drew an audience of students and professionals to hear talks on material testing by Eric Breitung, PhD, a senior research scientist, and Catherine Stephens, PhD, an associate research scientist, both from The Met.

SpecTube – Supplier Videos


New Atomic Spectroscopy–Based Approaches in Geochronology: An Interview with the 2018 Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Geochronology is an exciting area of atomic spectroscopy and earth science research. One of the goals is to answer tectonic questions, and in particular, how the crust responds to continent–continent collision. John M. Cottle, a professor of earth science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is one of the scientists on that mission. Cottle and his research group are at the forefront of discovery in geochronology, combining both laboratory and field-based research. In particular, Cottle is a leader in the development of novel laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) measurements and their application to tectonic questions in convergent orogens, which are mountain ranges formed when a continental plate crumples and is pushed upwards.

Effective Removal of Isobaric Interferences on Strontium and Lead Using Triple-Quadrupole ICP-MS

By Daniel Kutscher, Simon Lofthouse, Simon Nelms, Shona McSheehy Ducos

Unresolved interferences can lead to biased results in ICP-MS analyses. Here we describe an approach for removing those interferences using reactive gases.

Our Daily Dose of Poison: A Look at Lead in the Food Supply

By Patricia Atkins

How much lead is in our daily lives? We take a look at current research concerning lead in the United States food supply and investigations using ICP-MS into the measurement of high concentrations of lead in food.

Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry Techniques to Unravel the Heterogeneity of Glycoproteins

By Asif Shajaha, Parastoo Azadi

Since glycans are responsible for bioactivity, solubility, immunogenicity, and clearance rate from circulation, it is vital to have a detailed map of glycans in therapeutic glycoproteins. Detailed glycoprotein structural analysis must be able to identify the peptide sequence where the glycans are attached as well as the structure of the glycan portion, including oligosaccharide sequence and glycosyl linkages. This article details methods for mass spectrometry experiments on both released glycans (“glycomics”), as well as on intact glycopeptides (“glycoproteomics”) using electron transfer dissociation, high-energy collision dissociation, and collision-induced dissociation fragmentation pathways, which are needed to fully elucidate the structure of glycoproteins.

Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Characterization of Vegetable Oil–Derived Potent Antimicrobial Agents

By Racha Seemamahannop, Prakash Wadhawa, Shubhen Kapila, Abha Malhotra

Under a suitable thermal oxidation regime, vegetable oils yield a mixture of volatile and semivolatile organics that exhibit very high antimicrobial activities against a variety of microbial species. Volatile and semivolatile products were characterized with GC–MS using electron ionization and chemical ionization. The thermal oxidation of vegetable oils resulted in the formation of an array of short and medium-chain acids, aldehydes, and ketones that act synergistically to yield a potent antimicrobial disinfectant.

Review of the 65th Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics

By Cindy Delonas

We present a brief review of this year’s ASMS conference, which took place June 4–8 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

lorem ipsum