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Jan Novotný, Karel Novotný, David Prochazka, Aleš Hrdlička and Jozef Kaiser tell us about “Two dimensional elemental mapping by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy”. LIBS seems to be finding increasing applications and to be receiving interest by the instrument manufacturers at present. The article provides an introduction to the technique and goes on to show how it can be used for elemental mapping in materials analysis.
This system is configured specifically for the analysis of wear metals in raw lubricating oils using ICP-OES. It incorporates three syringe drives and a Niagra switching valve. Oil samples are mixed with diluent and the diluted oils are delivered to the spectrometer, eliminating the needs for manual dilutions and decreasing cycle times.
The Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) has announced the winners of the 2011 FACSS Innovations Awards. The FACSS Innovation Awards showcase the newest and most creative science debuted orally at a FACSS-organised conference. Shortlisted finalists competed in front of expert panels at the 2011 FACSS conference in Reno, NV, USA (2–7 October 2011). The panel commended the high quality of entries and selected four equal awardees.
This Product Focus is on Elemental Spectroscopy; a number of companies have provided information on their key products, their applications and features.
The latest version of Spectrotest from Spectro Analytical is a mobile OES spectrometer, which is capable of segregating Duplex steels by nitrogen content and measuring carbon in steels down to 0.1% without the need for argon flushing. A number of advances in technology have made this possible. The “Plasma Generator” totally digital spark control accurately defines and controls the energy in the plasma which improves performance. The sample probe is new too: it is lighter, slimmer and more convenient to use when space is restricted. A new scrubbing system improves optical performance to permit the measurement of carbon in low alloy steels in air. An optional probe, which can quickly be interchanged with the standard probes, permits the measurement of light elements such as N, P, S, Be and B. The system uses Spectro's ICAL, which monitors performance and automatically corrects for any calibration drift using a single control sample. For PMI, alloy grades are quickly identified against the instrument's internal libraries and the automatic programme finding function uses the measured spectrum to ensure that the best measurement parameters and programmes are used for the sample.
A new software module to enable high-precision and automated analysis of precious metals and high concentration elements is now available from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The iTEVA Precision software seamlessly integrates with the company's iCAP 600 series of ICP-OES spectrometers to deliver improved analytical results. Designed specifically for the metallurgy industry, the new module enhances the iTEVA software solution, delivering a simple and efficient workflow with real-time data processing using the bracketing standards approach. The software features advanced data processing, which routinely enables RSD values of < 0.3% between sample aliquots and the automated capability makes labour-intensive external calculations unnecessary, eliminating the potential for human transcription errors associated with manual off-line calculations. An added benefit is its ability to perform required post-run data reprocessing without reanalysing samples, accelerating workflows and conserving high-value samples. Customisable data filtering and reporting tools are available, enabling users to maintain their preferred workflow while automating current sample analysis processes.
A microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer is now available from Agilent Technologies. The 4100 MP-AES uses a nitrogen-based plasma which runs on air and, therefore, does not require flammable or expensive gases. With no external cylinder connections required and no need for on-going gas supplies, the spectrometer is suitable for any elemental analysis laboratory—especially remote sites and mobile laboratories. By eliminating the need to plumb multiple gases into the laboratory or manually transport and handle gas cylinders, laboratory safety is improved. Easy to use application-specific software applets automatically load a pre-set method, enabling users to start analysis without the need for method development or alignment. Minimal training is required and, since flammable gases are no longer required, the system allows for safe, unattended multi-element overnight operation.
Characterisation of TiO2 pigments in commercial foundation creams: a synergic use of the ICP-AES, square wave voltammetry and sedimentation FFF techniques
TiO2 is widely used as a sunscreen UV filter and as a colouring agent in all types of cosmetic products. TiO2 has recently captured the attention of the scientific community since its safety assessment has been placed again under consideration. Inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), square wave voltammetry (SWV) and sedimentation field-flow fractionation (SdFFF) are described in this article to characterise and quantify the TiO2 particles inside six commercial foundation creams.
The use of complementary techniques in understanding the detoxification of aluminium in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis
The authors describe the use of a range of complementary methods to explore cellular, physiological and behavioural mechanisms underlying Al accumulation and toxicity, and its eventual fate, using the pond snail as a model organism.
A laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument will be one of the ten science instruments on NASA’s next Mars rover, known as Curiosity. The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on the rover uses a laser to excite a spot on rocks and produce an ionised gas which is observed through a telescope and analysed to identify the chemical elements in the target.
The latest generation of the Spectromaxx benchtop OES from Spectro incorporates several enhancements. CCD detector technology combined with temperature-controlled optics provide better detection limits for elements such as nitrogen, now down to 10 ppm. Also featured in the new instrument is an integrated diagnostics facility which continuously monitors, archives and displays the operational status of all important components and systems. For ease of use, the spectrometer now has the Spark Analyser Vision software which is already included in the company's top-of-the range Spectrolab systems.
Using inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy to optimise the analysis of trace elements in gasoline
The presence of trace elements in gasoline can lead to a number of detrimental effects both on the automobile engine using the fuel as well as the environment. Trace elements can dramatically decrease engine performance by negatively impacting the operation of the engine’s electronic sensors that control the combustion process. Additionally, environmental pollution occurs when trace elements are transported from the engine to the environment via emissions. The analysis of these elements is therefore crucial to ensure that the performance of the engine is not affected by the fuel and that environmental damage does not occur when trace elements are released from the engine via emissions. This article discusses how modern inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) technology surpasses the performance of traditionally used atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) techniques to ensure optimal fuel quality.
A team of chemists from the University of Seville, Spain, has managed to distinguish between different kinds of tea leaves on the basis of their mineral content and by using artificial neural networks. This technique makes it possible to differentiate between the five main varieties of tea—white, green black, Oolong and red tea.
There is considerable interest in chemical imaging of pharmaceutical tablets since knowledge of the spatial distribution of constituents is critical to ensuring uniformity and consistency of product. Pharmaceutical tablets in general are complex multicomponent blends comprising active ingredients(s) and a variety of inactive substances—the excipients—that are used to aid manufacture and facilitate tablet administration. Thus, in addition to measurement of the spatial distribution of the active drug, there is a need to monitor excipients such as binders, fillers, coatings, lubricants, disintegrants and preservatives. Imaging of organic and inorganic constituents of tablets represents a considerable challenge and no single spectroscopic approach can provide definitive characterisation of all components and/or satisfy key measurement criteria such as sensitivity, specificity, resolution and speed of analysis. With respect to molecular imaging, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), Raman and fluorescence microscopies are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed efforts have been made to exploit the complementary nature of IR and Raman by merging respective data sets in order “to enable a more complete visualisation of pharmaceutical formulations”. More generally the approach of Clarke et al. termed “Chemical Imaging Fusion” can be extended to elemental imaging given that inorganic compounds and heteroatoms are critical components of formulations.
The D-Torch from Glass Expansion is a new demountable torch design for ICP spectrometers. It allows the outer tube and the injector to be quickly and easily replaced and is low in cost.
Exposure to chemical pollutants is of growing concern to regulators, health workers and environmentalist groups. Now, researchers in the USA and Russia have demonstrated that samples of human bone can act as a biological marker for dozens of metals and toxic elements across the periodic table. They describe details in a study published in the International Journal of Environment and Health [Vol. 4, Nos. 2/3, pp. 278–292 (2010)].
The problem of detecting, recognising and identifying explosives at significant standoff distances has proved one of the most difficult—and most important—challenges during recent years, being today, one of the most demanding applications of spectroscopic techniques. The limited number of sophisticated available techniques potentially capable of standoff detection of minimal amounts of explosives is based on laser spectroscopy. Of the recently developed techniques, Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) are considered significant for their potential for homeland defence applications.
New Webinar from Bruker Daltonics
High Sensitivity ICP-MS:Overcome the challenge of complex samples
The new aurora M90 from Bruker defines new performance standards in ICP-MS combined with ease of use and robustness required in today’s modern laboratories.
The patented ingenious ion optic design combined with the innovative collision / reaction interface cell delivers highest selectivity and class leading sensitivity, which supersedes all other quadrupole ICP-MSs offered on the market and matches even sensitivity standards set by sector field ICP-MS, all combined with ease of use, robustness, low-cost of ownership and low instrument investment need.
The webinar will explain the technical realization of the instrumentation and demonstrate the benefits for the most challenging applications in ICP-MS analysis.
Who should attend?ICP-MS users Lab managers Students ….
Your PresentersDr. Meike Hamester, Director European ICP-MS Marketing, Bruker Daltonics, Berlin, GermanyMeike Hamester’s passion for ICP-MS started in the early ’90s at the University of Hamburg, Germany. During her thesis with the title ‘Minimization of spectral and non-spectral interferences using ICP-MS’ she got acquainted with the challenges of ICP-MS in the early stages. Having finished her thesis she moved from Hamburg to Bremen in Germany to work for Finnigan and its successor Thermo Fisher Scientific as the product manager for ICP-MS. In January 2012 Meike joined Bruker Daltonics as European director for ICP-MS. Meike is based at Bruker in Berlin, Germany where Bruker operates the Application Laboratory for ICP-MS. Andrew Toms, ICP-MS Specialist, Bruker Daltonics, Milton, CanadaAndrew Toms has been involved with ICP-MS since his undergraduate studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. After completing his Masters degree at University of Windsor where he studied mercury contamination in lake sediments, Andrew joined Varian Canada as a technical support chemist in 2000, in Mississauga, Ontario. Following 10 years with Varian in applications support and customer training, he joined Bruker Daltonics as an ICP-MS Specialist in May 2010, based out of their applications laboratory at their Milton location, near Toronto.
The U-Series is a new style of glass concentric nebuliser from Glass Expansion. It provides improved performance and is very simple to use. The main benefits are that the sample channel is uniform from the entry point to the tip, which helpsavoid blockages; since there is nowhere for sample to be trapped, washout time is reduced and sample throughput increased; the VitriCone construction incorporates a precision-machined heavy glass capillary which resists vibration and delivers precision; Glass Expansion’s proprietary UniFit sample connector provides a simple connection with no dead volume. The U-Series is compatible with all ICP-OES and ICP-MS models.
Horiba has announced the construction of a new research facility and European headquarters on the campus of the École Polytechnique in Paris. The new centre will give Horiba access to a pool of innovative technologies, resources and personnel from nearby academic, government and commercial research centres. It is due to open in late 2011. www.horiba.com/uk/scientific