Spectroscopy Interviews

Analyzing Soil and Meat with Shifted Excitation Raman Difference Spectroscopy

July 22, 2020

Kay Sowoidnich, PhD, is a research associate with Laser Sensors Lab at the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik and one of the 2020 winners of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy William F. Meggers Award. His group have been able to demonstrate the potential of shifted-excitation Raman difference spectroscopy (SERDS) as an efficient tool for soil nutrient analysis.

Advancing Trace Elemental and Speciation Analysis with a Focus on Metrology

July 10, 2020

For more than 20 years, Heidi Goenaga-Infante, a science fellow and the leader of the inorganic analysis team at LGC, has been working on elemental and speciation analysis. Two recent areas of investigation include the analysis of trace metals in biological samples, and the study of nanomaterials. In these studies, Goenaga-Infante puts particular emphasis on metrology-advancing this work by developing validated reference methodologies. Goenaga-Infante is the 2020 recipient of the Lester W. Strock Award from Society of Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) and the SAS New England Regional Section, in recognition of her contributions to the field of analytical atomic spectrometry, and she recently spoke to us about her work. This interview is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the winners of awards that are presented at the SciX conference.

Assessing Heavy Metals in Pet Food with ICP-MS: An Update

July 08, 2020

In 2009, a group of researchers conducted a study, using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), to determine if heavy metal contaminants were present in a variety of pet foods . Results were compared to 2009 EPA Reference Dose (RfD) and World Health Organization (WHO) Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) levels, scaled to the sizes of pets. In the intervening decade, the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) was enacted, and pet food became one of the targets of scrutiny. The team conducted a follow-up study in 2019, revisiting the pet food brands first analyzed in 2009 as well as new brands that have emerged since, to see if anything changed significantly in the intervening decade. The new study used updated cryogenic and microwave technologies for sample preparation before ICP-MS analysis. We spoke to the study’s lead author, Patricia Atkins, a Senior Application Scientist at Spex CertiPrep, about this investigation.

Micro-Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (Micro-SORS) for Research in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage

May 21, 2020

In this interview, Dr. Claudia Conti, a senior researcher at the Institute of Heritage Science (ISPC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), talks about her work in micro-SORS. Conti is the winner of the 2020 Craver Award presented by the Coblentz Society, to be given at the 2020 SciX conference for her Raman research. The SciX conference is scheduled for October 11–16 in Sparks, Nevada. This interview is part of a series of interviews with winners of awards presented at SciX.

Spectroscopy for Medicine: From SERS, Laser-Induced Fluorescence, and Biosensors to Analytical Nanotools

May 05, 2020

Working at the frontiers of biotechnology, fiberoptics, lasers technique and molecular spectroscopy, Tuan Vo-Dinh of Duke University has developed multiple sensor technologies useful for medical research and diagnostics. In this interview, he talks about his work in spectroscopy and photonics. Vo-Dinh is the winner of the 2019 Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) Sir George Stokes Award and is scheduled to give a plenary lecture at the 2020 SciX conference, October 11–16 in Sparks, Nevada. This interview is part of an ongoing series with the winners of awards that are presented at SciX.

Biomedical Applications of Raman Spectroscopy Over Several Decades

April 15, 2020

Overall, the application of Raman spectroscopy has yielded greater understanding of multiple biomedical problems. We interviewed Prof. Yuki Ozaki, professor emeritus and a university fellow at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan, about his work in this field. Ozaki is the winner of the 2020 Charles Mann Award for Applied Raman Spectroscopy to be given at the 2020 SciX conference for his Raman work in biomedical applications. This interview is part of a series of interviews with winners of awards presented at SciX.

Using Mobile Spectroscopic Instruments to Characterize Historic Fabrics

April 02, 2020

Mary Kate Donais of Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, uses mobile instruments in analytical archaeometry studies, and has conducted a recent study on the spectroscopic characterization of historic fabrics from a turn-of-the-19th century New England mill belonging to the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, also in Manchester, and one of the largest textile producers in the world at its prime. We recently spoke to Donais about this work.

New Approaches to XRD Profile Modeling

April 01, 2020


The ultimate goal of X-ray diffraction (XRD) profile modeling is to interpret XRD patterns measured from real samples. David Bish of Indiana University explores ways to streamline and accelerate the process with a new matrix methodology.

Using Raman Spectroscopy for the Characterization of Zeolite Crystals

March 09, 2020

Recently, we spoke to Scott M. Auerbach a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, about his work in the use of Raman spectroscopy for zeolite structure characterization, which has focused on a collection of nine all-silica zeolites.

Using Nanopore Sensors to Analyze and Characterize Heparin and Other Therapeutic Polysaccharides

February 05, 2020

Solid-state silicon nitride (SiNx) nanopore sensors can be used to analyze natural and synthetic oligosaccharides and polysaccharides like the anticoagulant drug heparin. These sensors are providing an understanding of nanopore electrokinetics-mechanisms important for capillary electrophoresis with often outsized importance on the nanoscale. Recent work in the use of nanopores is providing a platform for the development of new assays applicable to clinical analysis for a variety of therapeutic molecules. Nanopore sensors can be combined with spectroscopic techniques for multiple analytical applications. Recently, we spoke to Jason R. Dwyer, of the University of Rhode Island (USA) and a FACSS Innovation Award winner from the 2019 SciX conference, regarding his work in this field. This interview is part of a series of interviews with the winners of awards that are presented at the SciX conference.