Christian Huck and co-authors look at “Infrared spectroscopic techniques for the non-invasive and rapid quality control of Chinese traditional medicine Si-Wu-Tang”. They have used benchtop mid-IR and NIR as well as portable NIR instruments for quick and non-invasive quality control of this traditional Chinese medicine. Adulterations could be detected, as well as the raw herbs and different sources of the Si-Wu-Tang. The success of the mobile NIR instrument is particularly interesting due to the growing interest in such technology for its ease-of-use and cost.
Earthworm secretions are of interest to Mark Hodson, Liane Benning, Gianfelice Cinque, Bea Demarchi, Mark Frogley, Kirsty Penkman, Juan Rodriguez-Blanco, Paul Schofield, Emma Versteegh and Katia Wehbe in “Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls”. Several earthworm species secrete very small granules of calcium carbonate, and the authors think these are involved in pH regulation. These granules contain different polymorphs of calcium carbonate, including the amorphous form which is very unstable in the laboratory. To investigate this they have FT-IR spectroscopy and mapping, and are continuing this work with Ca XANES.
Read more: Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls
This article looks at the use of Raman and XRF spectroscopies to investigate the different deterioration processes caused by marine aerosols. These techniques can detect the decay compounds and the original composition of the different materials from historical buildings close to the sea, which can then be used to explain the reactions that take place on them. This helps in the development of remedial actions and preventive conservation strategies for historical buildings.
Research into climate change takes many directions, but storing carbon or understanding its release from stores is extremely important. Philippa Ascough, Michael Bird, Will Meredith and Colin Snape tell us about “Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink”. Pyrogenic carbon comes from the incomplete burning of biomass, and can be natural, e.g. wild fires, or man-made, e.g. the production of charcoal. The authors describe the uses of a range of spectroscopy techniques to understand the molecular structure of pyrogenic carbon and its role in the global carbon cycle..
Much of the exterior surface of plants is covered by the cuticle. This plays a vital role in protecting the plant from water loss, attack by pests and pathogens and damage from UV radiation. Infrared spectroscopy is very useful in characterising cuticles, as we learn in “Infrared spectroscopy as a tool to study plant cuticles” by José Heredia-Guerrero, José Benítez, Eva Domínguez, Ilker Bayer, Roberto Cingolani, Athanassia Athanassioua and Antonio Heredia. The authors point out that, whilst still in its early stages, infrared spectroscopy has provided valuable information about the functional groups, chemical structure and arrangement and interactions of plant cuticle components.
- Solid mixed matrices and their advantages in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry
- The analytical niche for Raman spectroscopy in biological pigment research
- Application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for surface hardness measurements
- Fast and versatile ambient surface analysis by plasma-assisted desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry
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- Atomic absorption
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- Near infrared
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- Surface analysis
- X-ray spectrometry