Interview of the Month

Advancing Materials Analysis with Imaging

For the characterization of complex materials, imaging methods such as atomic force microscopy, scanning Kelvin probe microscopy, luminescence-based hyperspectral imaging, and confocal Raman microscopy—sometimes in combination—are used to obtain sufficient details about chemical heterogeneity across multiple length scales. Frank V. Bright, the Henrey M. Woodburn Chair and a SUNY distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, has been using these imaging techniques in his research, for which he won the 2015 ACS Award in Spectrochemical Analysis. He recently spoke to us about his work applying these techniques to the analysis of antifouling films—designed to prevent algae and other marine organisms from accumulating on ships—and to the forensic analysis of fibers.


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.


Analysis of the State of the Art: Raman Spectroscopy

By Megan L’Heureux

In honor of Spectroscopy's celebration of 30 years covering the latest developments in materials analysis, we asked a panel of experts to assess the current state of the art of Raman spectroscopy and to try to predict how the technology will develop in the future.

ParticleFinder – Automated Particle Location and Raman Analysis with LabSpec 6

By HORIBA Scientific

Locate particles, generate size or shape statistics, select particles based on size or shape, and acquire Raman spectra. Easily locate and identify particulate matter, including pharmaceutical materials, trace forensic evidence, geological rock or mineral particles, and airborne contaminants trapped on filters.

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.


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

Application of SERS to the Determination of Butylated Hydroxyanisole in Edible and Essential Oils

By Magdalena Wrona, Jesús Salafranca, Massimiliano Rocchia, Cristina Nerín

A new method was developed for BHA determination in edible and essential oils by SERS Raman microscopy, without the need for any sample handling or pretreatment.

Molecular Characterization of Gadolinium-Doped Zinc Telluride Films by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

By Dale L. Perry, Zhixun Ma, Andrew Olson, Erik Topp

Zinc telluride films doped with gadolinium (ZnTe:Gd)—made by laser ablation and deposition—have been characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to determine the molecular species of the elements in the material and their presence as intentionally formed contaminants.

An Interlaboratory Comparison Study for the Determination of Arsenic and Arsenic Species in Rice, Kelp, and Apple Juice

By Michelle L. Briscoe, Tamas M. Ugrai, Joel Creswell, Annie T. Carter

An interlaboratory comparison study for the measurement of arsenic species in rice,kelp, and apple juice was carried out.

Differentiation of Inks Used for Seals by Confocal Raman Microscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Microscopy

By Jungang Lv, Shuo Liu, Yuanyuan Li Jimin Feng, Yong Liu, Songdong Zhou

The analysis of seals, mostly via the ink types, can provide evidence to authenticate the related documents and can play a key role in legal cases. In the present study, a method to discriminate red seal inks using Raman microscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was developed.

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.


Thermo Fisher Scientific Proteomics Facility for Disease Target Discovery Opens at Gladstone Institutes

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Proteomics Facility for Disease Target Discovery opened at the Gladstone Institutes (San Francisco, California) on June 24, as part of a collaboration between Thermo Fisher (San Jose, California), Gladstone, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and QB3 (San Francisco, California), to accelerate targeted proteomics research using advanced mass spectrometry techniques.

Optical Society, SPIE, and Materials Research Society Name Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

The Congressional Fellows program aims to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress, and provide scientists with insight into the inner workings of the federal government.

Sciex and the National University of Singapore Collaborate on Cancer Biomarker Research

Sciex (Framingham, Massachusetts) and the Protein and Proteomics Center (PPC) under the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Sciences have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote joint research and development activities in oncology biomarker discovery and development. The collaboration will pave the way for accelerated cancer detection and screening.


The Most Significant Advances in ICP-MS

By Laura Bush

In honor of Spectroscopy’s celebration of 30 years covering the latest developments in materials analysis, we asked experts to assess the current state of the art of six key spectroscopic techniques. Here, the experts weigh in on what they considered the most important advance in inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in the last 5–10 years.

Analysis of the State of the Art: ICP-MS

By Laura Bush

In honor of Spectroscopy's celebration of 30 years covering the latest developments in materials analysis, we asked a panel of experts to assess the current state of the art of inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and to try to predict how the technology will develop in the future.

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.

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.