Interview of the Month

Using X-ray Techniques to Monitor Air Pollution

Air quality is a global concern, but even more so for urban areas and poor countries. The pollution in the air goes directly into our lungs, which makes monitoring the particulates and various levels of pollution a major concern. Johan Boman of the Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology at University of Gothenburg has been studying the air quality in several different regions using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF). Here, he discusses the challenges faced in this research and plans for future studies.


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.

Applications of Infrared Multiple Angle Incidence Resolution Spectrometry

By David Drapcho, Takeshi Hasegawa

Infrared multiple angle incidence resolution spectroscopy (IR MAIRS) provides a powerful new tool to determine the molecular structure and orientation in a thin film on an IR-transparent substrate. The MAIRS technique replaces a tedious, and sometimes impossible, combination of sample preparation and analysis of identical films on both transparent and reflective substrates.

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.


The Future of Raman Spectroscopy: The Role of TERS and SERS

By Spectroscopy Editors

Attend any conference covering vibrational spectroscopy, and you will likely hear numerous talks about developments in tip enhanced Raman scattering (TERS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Both approaches hold exciting promise, but face significant challenges as well. We asked a panel of Raman experts about the current and future role of these two approaches.

Correlative Confocal Raman and Scanning Electron Microscopy

By WITec GmbH

RISE Microscopy is the combination of 3D confocal Raman Imaging and Scanning Electron Microscopy. This application note highlights the advantages of this combination facilitating the most in-depth chemical and ultrastructural characterization of a sample

Direct Identification of Clinically Relevant Microorganisms on Solid Culture Media by Raman Spectroscopy

By Eunah Lee, HORIBA Scientific, I. Espagnona, D. Ostrovskii, R. Mathey, M. Dupoy, P. Joly, A. Novelli-Rousseau, F. Pinston, O. Gal, F. Mallard, D. Leroux

Evaluation of the discrimination power of Raman spectroscopy in decreasing turnaround time in clinical diagnosis, when analyzing microcolonies from nine bacterial and one yeast species directly on solid culture medium after a shortened incubation time.

Statistical, Morphological, and Chemical Particle Characterization of Cellulose Nitrate Filters for QC

By Eunah Lee, HORIBA Scientific

Statistical and morphological analysis of particles on a filter has been complemented by chemical analysis based on Raman spectroscopy using the ParticleFinder tool, allowing further insight into the particle composition and its origin within a production line.

Raman Spectroscopy Applied to the Lithium-Ion Battery Analysis

By Renata Lewandowska, Miyoko Okada, Tomoko Numata, HORIBA Scientific

The application note explains how the Raman Spectroscopy can be helpful in the analysis of cathodes and anodes in Li-ion batteries.


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

Agricultural and Environmental Management with Raman Spectroscopy

By Stephanie C. Tucker, Rachel E. Kast, Kenneth V. Honn, Gregory W. Auner

Raman technologies offer promise for important areas of agricultural and environmental management, such as food safety, air emissions, water monitoring, and GMO labeling.

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.


Networking and Educational Opportunities at Upcoming Eastern Analytical Symposium

The 2015 Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition (EAS) takes place November 16–18, in Somerset, New Jersey.

FACSS Student Award and the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award presented at SciX 2015

At the 2015 SciX conference held September 27–October 2 in Providence, Rhode Island, two students were awarded the FACSS Student Award, and two scholars were awarded the Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award.

Society for Applied Spectroscopy Presents Student Awards at SciX 2015

The Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) presented the SAS undergraduate student research excellence, student poster awards, and student travel grants, on Sunday, September 27, at SciX 2015, at the opening reception and student poster session.


Tackling Unresolved Problems in ICP-MS

By Spectroscopy Editors

Inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a powerful analytical technique. But like any other analytical techniques, there are challenges involved. We recently asked ICP-MS experts what unresolved problems exist—especially with samples in complex matrices—and how ICP-MS methods or technologies can be developed to attack them.

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.

Mass Spectrometry

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

By Rossana Bossi, Bodil Hammer Bech

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.