Tony Davies has started a timeline of significant spectroscopic system developments aligned with Queen Elizabeth’s reign as recently celebrated in her Platinum Jubilee. Jumping from Princess Anne the Princess Royal’s birth to Heinrich Kaiser certainly makes for a novel approach! Tony hopes that we can turn this into an online resource with your help.
This article describes the use of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence and absorption spectroscopies to image metals in the brain.
Despite a multitude of chemical and physical methods capable of detecting fingerprint residues, there are substantial challenges with fingerprint recovery. Spectroscopic methods have played a critical role in the analysis of fingerprints, used to identify the chemical constituents present, examine their degradation over time and compare the chemical variation between donors.
Roman concrete is well known and has lasted well. Now, it seems that the Egyptians used concrete to build at least some of their pyramids. Guy Demortier reports that PIGE and PIXE analyses have revealed the presence of carbon clusters in the material used to build the Khufu (Great) pyramid at Giza. This fits with a model of construction in which the blocks were cast in situ rather than cut out of stone and somehow moved into place. There’s always something new to be learnt!
Following our articles on the FAIR initiative, we now look at some examples of the FAIRification of data handling, collection and archiving.
Cultural heritage is a growing application area for spectroscopy, and our second article describes how infrared and X-ray spectroscopy are being used to explore the coatings used by the old Cremonese makers that produced such outstanding sound.
The Tony Davies Column offers a challenge to us all with another contribution on FAIR data, which should be Findable, Available, Interoperable and Readable. It is clearly the way we should all be going, everybody from manufacturers and software developers, through researchers to publishers needs to work together.
How did a major trade show organiser cope with the disruption of COVID-19? Susanne Grödl, Exhibition Director of analytica for Messe München, gives her experience.
The ICH Harmonised Guideline for Elemental Impurities of drug products specifies limits on the residual amounts of 24 elements whose toxicities are of concern. The recommended analytical techniques to achieve this are ICP-MS and ICP-AES, but the regulations allow other methods if they exist. One such method is XRF spectrometry. The method is shown to meet the regulations and is a useful, cost-effective alternative to ICP-MS and ICP-AES.
Sampling particulate matter is in many fields performed without a scientific basis, mostly because its critical role is ignored, or at best, misunderstood, and because of an unawareness of, sometimes a disregard for, the Theory of Sampling. This two-part column illustrates this important point using experience in the field of geo-environmental engineering.
FT-IR spectroscopy and ED-XRF are used to determine the origin of contaminants in food that may, or may not, have originated from dental materials.
With a significant proportion of our regular readership probably under home lock-down, we were wondering if we could help you at this difficult time by pointing out some useful online resources. So, when we finally come out of this pandemic, you could do so better skilled and more up-to-date than when we went in to it.
Tony and Lutgarde Buydens give us an update on the planning for the major EuroAnalysis 2021 conference, which is being held in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, at the end of August 2021. At this stage, they are keen to gather suggestions from readers on topics they would like to see covered. Groups are also invited to consider hosting their own event under the EuroAnalysis 2021 banner.
Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) is a “Cinderella” technique: not widely known but with great potential. The author and other members of the TXRF Workgroup are making strenuous efforts both to spread the word about TXRF and to improve communication within the TXRF community. As Ramón points out, atomic absorption or plasma spectroscopies may be the “go to” techniques for many, but TXRF is worthy of consideration.
Pentti Minkkinen and Kim Esbensen present case histories and examples all focusing on the potential for economic loss or gain—by following, or more importantly, by not following TOS.
Significant research is underway globally into both improving corrosion protection as well as removing chemicals of concern from existing corrosion protection coatings. This is because the cost of corrosion in developed economies has been consistently shown to lie in the range 2–4% of Gross National Product.
Nanomaterials find widespread applications in many fields of science and nanotechnology, especially as catalysts in the chemical, bio-nanotechnology, nano-electronics and pharmaceutical industries. Understanding the physical and chemical properties of nanoscale materials is important, not only because of the fascinating nature of the subject, but also due to their potential applicability in almost every branch of science and technology. Nanostructured materials offer interesting properties, because at the atomic or molecular scale, the physical properties of a material become size dependent due to the quantum confinement and surface states effects.
In this article the question of the certification of calibration samples for the characterisation of advanced thin film materials is addressed within the framework of reliable process control or quality management purposes. Reference measurement techniques can be used in order to address the gap in appropriate certified reference materials (CRMs) for thin film analyses. They allow for qualifying out-of-production samples originating from an operating production line as calibration samples. As a template for this procedure, CIGS [Cu(In,Ga)Se2] layers, that are absorber layers for high efficiency thin-film solar cells, have been used for establishing and validating reference-free X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and Auger-electron spectroscopy (AES) as reference measurement techniques.
Different spectroscopic techniques have been combined to provide additional and complementary information for decades. Increasingly, this is being expanded beyond just two techniques and may include spatial/imaging information as well. All of which bring their own challenges. In “Multimodal imaging of cells and tissues: all photons are welcome”, David Perez-Guaita, Kamila Kochana Anja Rüther, Phillip Heraud, Guillermo Quintas and Bayden Wood report an example of these new approaches. They look at the use of infrared, Raman and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopies to obtain combined imaging data of whole algal cells and discuss how to overcome the challenges.
X-ray spectroscopy techniques have some advantages over other atomic spectroscopy techniques in the analysis of foods, for instance in not requiring significant sample preparation. Amongst these, TXRF has higher sensitivity and limits of detection in the ng range. The authors look at the analysis of a number of very different foods, including seafood, honey and vegetables.