Interview of the Month

Forensic Applications of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

The isotopic profile of a material refers to the ratios of the stable isotopes of elements contained within, such as 2H/1H, 13C/12C, and 18O/16O. Biological, chemical, and physical processes cause variations in the ratios of stable isotopes; analysis of a material for its distinctive isotopic signature can thus be used to reveal information about its history. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is a technique used to measure the relative abundance of isotopes in materials. Forensic investigators have used IRMS to measure a variety of materials, such as drugs, explosives, food, and human remains. In a recent web seminar, Lesley Chesson, the president of IsoForensics, Inc., explained how IRMS works and discussed the use of IRMS in forensic science, illustrating her discussion with several case examples.

FT-IR

Spectroscopy Announces the First Winner of the Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award

By Spectroscopy Editors

Matthew Baker, a senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, has won the inaugural Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, which is sponsored by Spectroscopy magazine. This new annual award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of a talented young molecular spectroscopist, selected by an independent scientific committee. The award will be presented to Baker at the SciX 2016 conference in September, where he will give a plenary lecture and be honored in an award symposium.

A Process for Successful Infrared Spectral Interpretation

By Brian C. Smith

A 12-step program to help you be more successful at interpreting IR spectra

Advancing the Application of NIR Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Although near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is not a particularly sensitive technique, it can be implemented with little or no sample preparation and thus is well suited to applications such as process monitoring, materials science, and medical uses. We asked a panel of experts to comment on important current applications of NIR, as well as emerging new areas of application and the challenges involved in those newer applications.

In Situ FTIR Analysis of Soils for Forensic Applications

By A.H. Jean Robertson, Angela M. Main, Lucinda J. Robinson, Lorna A. Dawson

Although handheld FT-IR spectrometers now make it possible to carry out field-based FT-IR analysis of soils at a crime scene, reliable and tested protocols are not yet available for such work. Here, we discuss sampling options and describe tests of a methodology that is being eveloped for in situ FT-IR analysis of soil samples.

Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to Monitor the Curing Reaction of Silicone Adhesives

By N. Pemberger, L.K.H. Bittner, C. W. Huck

Quality control of silicones used in medicinal implants is challenging, and traditional methods waste a lot of raw material. In this study, NIR spectroscopy has been used to replace the traditional rheometric measurements, with excellent results. The NIR method enables improved quality control and a more economical process.

Raman

Addressing the Challenges of Process Raman Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

In recent years, Raman spectroscopy has been applied to process monitoring and control applications in a wide range of application fields, including bioprocessing, pharmaceuticals, food, oil and gas, and oceanography. Brian Marquardt, cofounder and CEO of MarqMetrix, Inc., and director and senior principal engineer with the Center for Process Analysis and Control in the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, has more than 15 years of experience with such applications and recently spoke with us about his research.

Spectroscopy Announces the First Winner of the Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award

By Spectroscopy Editors

Matthew Baker, a senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, has won the inaugural Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, which is sponsored by Spectroscopy magazine. This new annual award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of a talented young molecular spectroscopist, selected by an independent scientific committee. The award will be presented to Baker at the SciX 2016 conference in September, where he will give a plenary lecture and be honored in an award symposium.

Selecting an Excitation Wavelength for Raman Spectroscopy

By David Tuschel

Here, we examine the problem of photoluminescence from the material being analyzed and the substrate on which it is supported. We then explain how to select an excitation wavelength that does not generate photoluminescence, reduces the noise level, and yields a Raman spectrum with a superior signal-to-noise ratio.

Raman Mapping of Spectrally Non-Well-Behaved Species

By Fran Adar

A look at maps of a ceramic composite used in the nose cone of the space shuttle.

UV-vis

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.

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.

Spectroscopy in Space: Hubble and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

By Spectroscopy Editors

In an upcoming spacewalk, shuttle astronauts will swap the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) device for the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Preparation of Pharmaceutical Samples for Elemental Impurities Analysis: Some Potential Approaches

By Nancy Lewen

As analysts prepare to meet the requirements of the new United States Pharmacopeia and International Conference on Harmonization standards on elemental impurities, they need to understand how to choose the most suitable sample preparation approach.

Effect of Azimuthal Angle on Infrared Diffuse Reflection Spectra of Fabrics

By Stephanie A. DeJong, Brianna M. Cassidy, Zhenyu Lu, Megan R. Pearl, Jessica N. McCutcheon, Wayne O’Brien, Nicholas D. Boltin, Ray G. Belliveau, Stephen L. Morgan, M. L. Myrick

In forensics, IR can be useful for detecting fluids on fabric. But it is critical to understand the variability in the fabric spectra. In this study, the authors investigate the effect of the sample azimuthal angle variability on the spectra, and present an approach to minimize that effect.

Lineshapes in IR and Raman Spectroscopy: A Primer

By Michael S. Bradley, PhD

The shape of the peaks in infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy are often not well understood. Bandshapes largely depend on interactions between vibrating molecules and their environment. An understanding of this relationship can enhance spectral interpretation and can explain unexpected behaviors.

News

Bernhard Lendl Joins Spectroscopy’s Editorial Advisory Board

Spectroscopy magazine is pleased to announce the addition of Bernhard Lendl to its editorial advisory board.

The Spectroscopy 2016 Salary Survey: A Snapshot

The latest Spectroscopy salary survey shows that the average salary has dropped slightly, despite increasing workloads. But has this impacted job satisfaction?

Spectroscopy Announces the First Winner of the Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award

Matthew Baker, a senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, has won the inaugural Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, which is sponsored by Spectroscopy magazine. This new annual award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of a talented young molecular spectroscopist, selected by an independent scientific committee. The award will be presented to Baker at the SciX 2016 conference in September, where he will give a plenary lecture and be honored in an award symposium.

ICP/ICP-MS

What Modeling Reveals About the Properties of an Inductively Coupled Plasma

By Spectroscopy Editors

Annemie Bogaerts and Maryam Aghaei of the University of Antwerp, Belgium, are carrying out computational modeling to examine how various properties of the ICP, such as gas flow path lines and ionization effects, are affected by various factors—such as gas flow rates, applied power, and even the very presence of a mass spectrometry sampler. Using their developed model, one can predict optimum conditions for specific analyses.

How to Improve Analytical Figures of Merit of Hard-To-Ionize Elements in ICP-Based Techniques

By Spectroscopy Editors

Matrix effects in ICP-OES and ICP-MS often cause signal suppression, but can lead to signal enhancement as well. Guillermo Grindlay of the University of Alicante, in Spain, discusses his work to better understand under what conditions these matrix effects occur and what mechanisms are involved.

Questioning the Relationship Between Analyte Ion Mass and ICP-MS Matrix Effects

By Spectroscopy Editors

New studies conducted by Shi Jiao and John Olesik at The Ohio State University have important implications for understanding the fundamental causes of matrix effects in ICP-MS, and for the choice of internal standards.

Determining Trace Elements in Edible Oils Using Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry

By Manuel Almeida, Karolina Carpenter

During the processing of edible oils, the analysis of trace metals, which can promote oxidation, is important. This article presents a study of metals in edible oils using radial-view ICP-OES and discusses the most suitable wavelengths, background correction, and integration times.

Sample Preparation Method for Mercury Analysis in Reagent Chemicals by ICP-OES

By Yogesh Parikh, Samantha Mahmoud, James Lallo, Huifang Lang

This study shows that a direct Au3+ and HCl sample preparation method quickly and simply allows for accurate Hg quantification by ICP-OES in a wide range of sample types.

Mass Spectrometry

Multi-Toxin Determination in Food: The Power of “Dilute and Shoot” Approaches in LC–MS–MS

By Alexandra Malachová, Michael Sulyok, Eduardo Beltrán, Franz Berthiller, Rudolf Krska

This article provides useful tips for smooth validation of multi-analyte LC–MS-MS methods and summarizes important validation outcomes for 295 analytes, including more than 200 mycotoxins.

Light and Medium Petroleum Distillate Characterization Using Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography–High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry and Enhanced Software Processing

By David E. Alonso, Clecio Klitzke, Joe Binkley

Enhanced chromatographic resolution (GC×GC), increased resolving power with high-resolution TOF-MS, and software designed to leverage these attributes are combined to provide data that are easy to process and interpret.

Optimization of the Electrospray Ionization Source with the Use of the Design of Experiments Approach for the LC–MS-MS Determination of Selected Metabolites in Human Urine

By Oliwia Szerkus, Arlette Yumba Mpanga, Michał J. Markuszewski, Roman Kaliszan, Danuta Siluk

This article presents a step-by-step DoE optimization strategy for an electrospray ionization source with the aim to quantitatively analyze 18 compounds in a metabolomic study of human urine.

A Rapid, Selective, and Sensitive Method for the Analysis of Naltrexone and 6β-Naltrexol in Urine

By Oneka T. Cummings, Erin C. Strickland, Gregory L. McIntire

An LC–MS-MS method is presented that can assist with monitoring substance abuse patients who are prescribed naltrexone, a narcotic antagonist.

Multi-Toxin Determination in Food: The Power of “Dilute and Shoot” Approaches in LC–MS–MS

By Alexandra Malachová, Michael Sulyok, Eduardo Beltrán, Franz Berthiller, Rudolf Krska

This article provides useful tips for smooth validation of multi-analyte LC–MS-MS methods and summarizes important validation outcomes for 295 analytes, including more than 200 mycotoxins.

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