Jürgen Gross has been using ambient mass spectrometry to look at the presence of polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) in food prepared in silicone rubber objects and on baking parchment. He shows that PDMS migrates into the food, something perhaps we should think about if in the mood for some baking!
Stanislav Strekopytov tells us about “The use of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to quantify chemical hazards in natural history collections: arsenic and mercury in taxidermy bird specimens”. It is quite shocking to learn about the use of poisons to preserve taxidermy specimens in the past. Nowadays it is essential that the dangers from such specimens are known before they can be handled by museum staff and particularly if they might be touched by visitors. ICP-MS analysis provides fully quantitative information on bulk contents of toxic elements in taxidermy specimens and so is well suited to this task.
Mark Tobin and colleagues describe “Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and imaging of dragonfly, damselfly and cicada wing membranes”. Insects and plants have evolved highly specialised surfaces such as being highly water repellent or superhydrophobic, which also confers self cleaning properties. This is of interest to materials scientists to help in the development of manufactured materials with similar properties. High spatial resolution FT-IR spectroscopy and imaging provide useful information about the complex chemical patterning that contributes to this functionality.
In the Tony Davies Column, we learn about “Automated detection of counterfeit drugs using multimodal spectroscopy and advanced web-based software platforms”. With the increase in trafficking of counterfeit medicines and other products, there is a need for definitive results from an on-site analyser useable by customs officers. The German authorities have commissioned the development of a multi-modal, transportable inspection system, including intelligent data processing and evaluation, for fast spectroscopic recognition of illicit drugs and counterfeit medicines. This is described in the column.
John Hammond updates us on “Reference materials: what’s new?”. The 2015 meeting of the ISO Committee on Reference Materials (ISO/REMCO) was held in June and significant developments in a number of standards that will ultimately affect all users of reference materials have taken place.
Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner have gold on their minds. However, only to explain that “Sampling—is not gambling!”: the American “Gold Rush” of the late 19th Century is a good metaphor for the unrepresentative nature of grab sampling: something that you will soon realise is to be avoided in any sampling regime.
In situ spectroscopic methods such as infrared, Raman and UV/vis spectroscopy are powerful tools to gain insight into reaction mechanisms and catalyst actions in homogeneously catalysed reactions. These methods and combinations of them offer great potential for the real-time monitoring of reactions in the liquid phase, for mechanistic studies as well as process control and kinetics.
The question “What’s up doc?—High-precision isotopic analysis of essential metals in biofluids for medical diagnosis” is posed by Frank Vanhaecke and Marta Costas-Rodriguez. Research is under way as to the possibility of using high-precision isotopic analysis of metals in a biomedical context. The goal is to develop methods for medical diagnosis on the basis of isotopic analysis of mineral elements in biofluids, for diseases that can otherwise only be established at a later stage or via a more invasive method (e.g., a biopsy) and/or for prognosis purposes. Whilst this work is in a very early stage, it is known that various diseases have an influence on the uptake, metabolism and/or excretion of essential mineral elements and thus, can cause a difference in their isotopic composition in biofluids.
Karsten Hinrichs and Andreas Furchner describe “Infrared mapping spectroscopic ellipsometry”. Recent developments in fundamental and materials research have increased the value of mapping techniques such as ellipsometry. IR ellipsometry, since it operates in the mid-IR fingerprint region, provides complementary information on composition, structural properties and interactions
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- Graphene characterisation and standardisation via Raman spectroscopy
- Direct Analysis in Real Time mass spectrometry and its application for the analysis of polydimethylsiloxanes
- The use of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to quantify chemical hazards in natural history collections: arsenic and mercury in taxidermy bird specimens
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and imaging of dragonfly, damselfly and cicada wing membranes
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- Atomic absorption
- Atomic emission
- Ion mobility
- Laser spectroscopy
- Mass spectrometry
- Near infrared
- NMR ESR EPR
- North America
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- RMs and standards
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- Surface analysis
- X-ray spectrometry