Interview of the Month

Educating Raman Spectroscopy Users

In many areas of spectroscopy, scientists working at instrument companies often make valuable contributions, by advancing the practical application of techniques and by educating customers. Andrew Whitley of HORIBA Scientific, is one such scientist. He works diligently to identify potential new areas for Raman applications, and also dedicates much of his time to educating spectroscopists and new users to the field about the benefits of using Raman spectroscopy. Here, Whitley discusses his continued interest in spectroscopy, his role educating others, and his hope for the future of Raman spectroscopy.

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.

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Infrared (IR)

The C=O Bond, Part IV: Acid Anhydrides

By Brian C. Smith

Acid anhydrides are unique in that they have two carbonyl groups in them. The intensity and position of their IR peaks can be used to determine which of the four types of anhydride exist in a sample.

The C=O Bond, Part III: Carboxylic Acids

By Brian C. Smith

How to spot carboxylic acids in your IR spectra

The C=O Bond, Part II: Aldehydes

By Brian C. Smith

Aldehydes feature a unique “lone hydrogen” atom, giving rise to unique C-H stretching and bending peaks, making them easy to spot. In this installment, a new feature is also presented, “IR Spectral Interpretation Review,” where key concepts from past columns are presented for those new to the column and for readers who need a refresher.

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.


Advancing Forensic Analyses with Raman Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Igor K. Lednev, of the Department of Chemistry at the University at Albany, the StateUniversity of New York, has been developing the use of Raman spectroscopy for a varietyof forensic applications, including determining the age of blood stains and linking gunshot residues to specific ammunition–firearm combinations.

Detecting Pathogenic Mycoplasmas with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Duncan C. Krause, of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Georgia, discusses his group’s work to establish a SERS method with silver nanorod-array substrates for detecting the pathenogenic mycoplasma that causes bronchitis and pneumonia.

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.


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-OES

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.


Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria: The Effect on Science Students

Nearly six months after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, residents there are still coping with the aftermath. Among those affected are university professors and students, particularly in the sciences, because the long period without electricity and mold growth severely damaged and in some cases destroyed sensitive equipment and laboratories. To gain a fuller picture of the situation, we talked to Fabiola Pagán Meléndez, an undergraduate chemistry student from the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, about her experience and how the storm has affected her studies and future plans. Pagán is also a journalist for the student-run media outlet Pulso Estudiantil, and right after the hurricane, she recorded a video that was distributed by NBC News. She was also quoted in a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Benefits of Spectroscopic Hyperspectral Chemical Imaging for Pharmaceutical Analysis Highlighted at Local SAS Meeting

The February meeting of the New York-New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (NYSAS) was held on February 20 at Fairleigh Dickinson University, organized in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science, Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, and the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society.

LIBS Used to Compare Commercial Milk Products

A team of researchers at Mississippi State University has used laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to compare a variety of commercial milk products.

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.

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