Wavelength Tech Forum: UV-Vis Spectroscopy

August 23, 2006

This month?s Technology Forum looks at the topic of UV?Vis and the trends and issues surrounding it. Joining us for this discussion are Richard A. Larsen, Scientific Applications Manager for Jasco, Inc., and Monde Qhobosheane, Director of Educational Systems for Ocean Optics, Inc.

This month’s Technology Forum looks at the topic of UV–Vis and the trends and issues surrounding it. Joining us for this discussion are Richard A. Larsen, Scientific Applications Manager for Jasco, Inc., and Monde Qhobosheane, Director of Educational Systems for Ocean Optics, Inc.

What are some recent significant developments in UV–Vis spectrophotometry?

(Larsen) Instruments are getting smaller, faster, and less expensive with increased throughput and better sensitivity. Integration of dedicated programming with these instruments is providing solution-oriented instrumentation for a wide range of applications.

(Qhobosheane) The MMS (multimodal spectroscopy) technology is a new development in the UV–Vis area. This is a new detection scheme based on a multimodal pattern. Instead of using the standard slit for the entrance of light before the detector, the micropattern allows high throughput of light, thus increasing sensitivity but maintaining resolution. Unlike in the standard spectrometer where if you increase the slit diameter for higher sensitivity you lose resolution.

In what applications do you see potential for growth in the use of UV–Vis?

(Larsen) Protein research, biological, biochemical, and clinical analysis methods.

(Qhobosheane) The process analytical technology initiative by the Food and Drug Administration.

UV–Vis has been around for a while. Do you think the technology will become obsolete as new types of instrumentation are introduced?

(Larsen) There will always be analysis methods that rely on traditional UV–Vis instruments. I don’t see those analysis requirements going away.

(Qhobosheane) No, we utilize the older technology to help give direction for better technology.

Do you see more applications emerging for single-beam or for double-beam UV–Vis?

(Larsen) Single-beam instruments will always have a place for low-cost, minimal-requirement applications. However, double-beam instruments provide a greater capability for high-resolution measurements, spectral scanning, time course/kinetics measurements, as well as high-sensitivity data. Double-beam instruments also have the capability to offer measurement of highly absorbing samples with greater photometric accuracy and repeatability than single-beam instruments.

What do you see in the future for this market?

(Larsen) More instruments offered with application-specific programs and dedicated instruments for analysis of specialty samples. There are increasing requirements for evaluation of LCD screen elements among other new types of research that require the capabilities of UV–Vis instrumentation. Although a somewhat “basic” technique, UV–Vis is a mainstay of analytical chemistry and will always remain as such.

(Qhobosheane) Future measurements for underwater analysis, bioanalysis.

What do you think?

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