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Dr Fiona Lyng of Dublin Institute of Technology is this year’s winner of the Enterprise Ireland “One to Watch” award. Dr Lyng is developing a new system using Raman spectroscopy to diagnose cervical cancer together with her colleagues at the Radiation and Environmental Science Centre at the Focas Institute in DIT and collaborators at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.
This article surveys developments in the applications of Raman spectroscopy and the design of probes for use in endoscopes for the detection of early cancers in the throat and stomach.
This second Product Focus is on Molecular Spectroscopy, and a number of companies have provided information on their key products, their applications and features.
Raman spectroscopy is to be used as one of the analytical techniques for the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission to identify the geological and biogeological spectral signatures that could herald the presence of extinct or extant life on Mars. The article looks at the benefits of Raman spectroscopy for this and the research on Earth to build knowledge of the spectra of organisms living in extreme conditions here.
Kaiser has announced the release of the RamanRXN 1000 Raman analyser which provides the fluorescence rejection of a FT-Raman spectrometer but with the ease of fibre-optic interfacing of a dispersive Raman analyser. While 785nm excitation remains the most universal wavelength range for petrochemical and pharmaceutical Raman applications, some applications such as early stage “dirty” crystallisation, biofuels, polyurethanes, heavy hydrocarbons and some colourants/pigments exhibit fluorescence too intense to allow the application to be addressed with 785 nm excitations. The RamanRXN 1000 provides an effective route for in situ monitoring of these applications, filling a niche where fluorescence cannot be overcome using 785 nm excitation. Raman measurements can be made on-line allowing users the potential to develop process control methodologies rather than end-product testing. The analyser is offered with either iC Raman 4.1 for reaction development and understanding or synTQ-Lite for process monitoring and control where compliance to 21 CFR Part 11 and interface to data historians are required.
Kaiser Optical Systems Inc
Laser Components has introduced the LuxxMaster Raman source, which is smaller and less expensive than previous models, for use in medical technology, industrial and military applications. Designed for OEM applications, the stabilised laser source is well suited for Raman spectroscopy and sensor applications. Using a volume Bragg grating, the 785 nm laser wavelength is stabilised across the entire operating temperature range from 0°C to 50°C. At the same time, the full width at half maximum is typically reduced to 0.08 nm. The noise level of the laser is < 0.25% RMS. A supply voltage of 5 V is required for operation. Other wavelengths, including 532 nm, are also available. The source can be connected to a 105 µm MM fibre, for example, from which a typical output power of 500 mW can be achieved. With the help of the USB interface, the source can be controlled using a PC.
The latest KnowItAll release from Bio-Rad Laboratories highlights a major addition to the AnalyzeIt spectral interpretation applications for IR, Raman and IR polymer compounds. With this release, users can now improve spectral interpretations by building a knowledgebase of functional groups and corresonding bands from their own data to use in conjuctioin with KnowItAll's built-in knowledgebase.
The Commander from McPherson is an f/4.8 triple spectrometer for the UV and wide wavelength range Raman applications. As a triple grating spectrometer, it has continuously tuneable wavelength positioning for work with tuneable lasers, to seek resonance or to work where filters are not available, deep in the UV. In the UV, it operates to the edge of the atmospheric transmission envelope at 185 nm thanks to a reflective optical system with master polished optics and UV-enhanced broadband coatings. For experiments that approach the oxygen absorption envelope, purge fittings are provided. A wide selection of diffraction gratings and cooled (–100°C) CCD detectors ensure sensitivity. Flexible user-controlled configuration of slit width, apertures and gratings control the system bandpass, rejection edge and spectral resolution as needed. The spectrograph stage, with imaging optics optimises flux and enables imaging across a large focal plane. The f/4.8 aperture ratio collects large solid angle and emission from weakly emitting samples and takes advantage of the smaller diffraction-limited spots occurring in the UV. A single stage bypass allows dedicated use of the spectrograph when required.
Nati Salvadó, Salvador Butí and Trinitat Pradell have used a number of techniques to investigate changes in pictorial techniques in Catalan paintings in the 15th century. The combination of different techniques is of particular value. The use of synchtrotron radiation as a light source is also an advantage.
The utility of Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) in the early diagnosis of conditions such as the painful brittle bone disease is to be tested for the first time with hospital patients. The SORS instrument, the first to be commercially available, was delivered on Wednesday 3 November to the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, University College London (UCL) on the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) site in Stanmore, Middlesex, UK. The spectrometer will undergo testing to assess its usefulness with the long term aim of developing a specialist medical device to diagnose and detect early signs of diseases such as brittle bone disease and osteoarthritis.
Understanding the crystal chemistry of Nickel (Ni), in particular how the element is bonded to its surrounding elements, can improve its extraction process, making it greener and increasing the yield. Scientists from Diamond (the UK’s national synchrotron facility), in collaboration with mineralogists from the University of Barcelona, Spain, have combined measurements on the Microfocus Spectroscopy beamline (I18) and Raman spectroscopy to elucidate the chemistry and local environment of Ni in a Mn-oxyhydroxyde aggregate.
Robert Huber from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich has received a Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). The grant is worth 1.2 million Euros over a period of five years. The Starting Grants scheme is designed to support the work of outstandingly creative young investigators who are engaged in research at the forefront of their respective fields.
Professor Robin Clark CNZM FRS, Sir William Ramsay Professor Emeritus, UCL, gave the University of Canterbury's premier biennial lecture, the Rutherford Lecture, in the Town Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand, on “Raman's legacy: Spectroscopy in the Cause of Art and Archaeology” on 29 September 2010.
A paper by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) may breathe new life into the use of a powerful—but tricky—diagnostic technique for cell biology. The paper in the Biophysical Journal, demonstrates that with improved hardware and better signal processing, an enhancement to Raman spectroscopy, broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (B-CARS), can quickly deliver detailed molecular maps of the contents of cells without damaging them. Earlier studies have suggested that to be useful, the technique would need power levels too high for cells.
Biomedical engineers are developing a hand-held device called a SpectroPen that could help surgeons see the edges of tumours in human patients in real time during surgery. Statistics indicate that complete removal, or resection, is the single most important predictor of patient survival for most solid tumours.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced the availability of two new DXR Nanocarbon Analysis Packages for the characterisation and micro-characterisation of carbon nanomaterials. Both packages offer large-scale chemical and materials producers complete systems for carbon nanotube analysis. Incorporating their DXR Raman platform, the packages provide information on the molecular structure and morphology of carbon nanomaterials. Designed to simplify the Raman technique for non-specialist instrument users, the packages improve productivity and provide accurate, rapid and reproducible results.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Photon etc. has introduced a turn-key resonant Raman spectroscopy system, which uses a tuneable notch filter able to block elastic scattering on a large wavelength range while maintaining high throughput. Coupled to a tuneable laser, spectrograph and EMCCD camera, the system is ideal for studying vibrational optical and electronic properties of materials in a non-destructive manner, analysing carotenoids, pigments and dyes in art, archaeology and forensics, characterising the diameter and chirality distribution of a mixed population of carbon nanotubes and for monitoring in situ carbon nanotube properties during growth to achieve better control in their production.
We are pleased to introduce a new feature in Spectroscopy Europe: a Product Focus. This first Product Focus is on Raman Spectroscopy, and a number of companies have provided information on their key products, their applications and features.
Information on the detailed chemical composition, structure and morphology of environmental particles, and especially airborne particulate matter (PM), facilitate the understanding of their reactivity, sources, transport and changes of chemical species and, hence, prediction of their likely impact on the environment and human and animal health. The analysis techniques for environmental particles can broadly be divided into two groups: bulk (for example, water-soluble ionic content by means of ion chromatography for PM, elemental concentrations by means of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for all environmental particles, chemical structural information by means of X-ray diffraction for larger environmental particles, such as sediments and sands etc.) and micro-analytical techniques, whereby the character of any single particle can be probed.