Interview of the Month

NIR Spectroscopy for Quality Control of an Ebola Virus Drug

Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is an important technique in the pharmaceutical industry because of its ability to provide information about bulk material without sample preparation. Multivariate calibration techniques are frequently used to analyze the NIR data. Robert Lodder, who is a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, uses NIR spectroscopy along with an interesting alternative calibration technique, molecular factor computing, in his work with an experimental drug for combating the Ebola virus. We recently spoke with him about his research.

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)

Combining Spectroscopic and Chromatographic Techniques

By Spectroscopy Editors

An interview with Charles Wilkins, the winner of the 2013 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Chemical Instrumentation, sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company.

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.

Rapid Identification of Illicit and Prescription Drugs Using FT-NIR Spectroscopy

By Richard A. Larsen, Ken-ichi Akao, Chihiro Jin

The authors discuss the use of FT-NIR to identify several different types of drug formulations.

Wavelength Tech Forum: FT-IR/NIR Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

This month's Technology Forum looks at the topic of FT-IR/NIR spectroscopy and the trends and issues surrounding it. Joining us for this discussion are Rohit Bhargava, with the University of Illinois, Chris Petty, with Thermo Fisher Scientific, Jim Yano and John Beauchaine, with Aspectrics, Richard Larsen, with Jasco, Inc., and Alan Rein, with A2 Technologies.

NIR Versus Mid-IR: How to Choose

By Spectroscopy Editors

Here the author compares near-infrared to mid-infrared as analytical tool in process management. he weighs the pros and cons of both spectral regions and suggests general applications for which one or the other is better suited.


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

The Use of Raman Spectroscopy for the Identification of Forensically Relevant Body Fluid Stains

By Tyler Schlagetter, Brooke W. Kammrath, Claire L. Glynn

This study reveals the ability of Raman spectroscopy to identify some forensically relevant body fluids, both

Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy: From Concept to Practical Application

By Dmitry Kurouski, Heewon Lee, Frank Roschangar, and Chris Senanayake

In the last decade, numerous SERS substrates have been developed, but it is difficult to compare and validate their plasmonic performance. In this overview, the authors discuss the three physical parameters of any new SERS platform that must be measured—morphological characterization, optical scattering (far-field response), and near-field properties—and future prospects for the development of new SERS platforms.

Tandem LA–LIBS Coupled to ICP-MS for Comprehensive Analysis of Tumor Samples

By Maximilian Bonta, Szilvia Török, Balazs Döme, Andreas Limbeck

This method demonstrates the excellent suitability of a multimodal approach that combines LA-ICP-MS with LIBS for the analysis of tumor samples, particularly when the standalone techniques cannot detect all the elements of interest.

Determination of Rare Earth Elements in Geological and Agricultural Samples by ICP-OES

By Clarice D. B. Amaral, Raquel C. Machado, Juan A. V. A. Barros, Alex Virgilio, Daniela Schiavo, Ana Rita A. Nogueira, Joaquim A. Nóbrega

This method demonstrates that ICP-OES is a suitable alternative to ICP-MS for the determination of rare earth elements in geological and agricultural samples


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.

Elemental Scientific Acquires Electro Scientific Industries’ Laser Ablation Division

Elemental Scientific, Inc. (ESI), of Omaha, Nebraska, has acquired Electro Scientific Industries’ laser ablation division.

Hopkins Explains Effective Use of Derivatives at Local Meeting of Society for Applied Spectroscopy

At the November meeting of the New York–New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy an attentive audience heard David Hopkins present his work on the effective use of derivatives in spectroscopy.

SpecTube – Supplier Videos


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.

Investigating Nanoparticles in the Environment with SP-ICP-MS

By Spectroscopy Editors

There is growing concern about the unknown effects that nanoparticles may have on the environment, especially in drinking water and plants. Single-particle inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS) is emerging as a useful technique for analyzing nanoparticles and their presence in environmental and biological systems. Honglan Shi, a chemistry professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and her research group have been using SP-ICP-MS to investigate nanoparticles in drinking water and plant uptake. She recently spoke to Spectroscopy about this work.

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.

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