Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years

Articles

What developments do you need to work more efficiently?

Antony N. Davies

Tony Davies continues his quest to find out what you all need to work more efficiently. You will remember that in the last issue, Tony introduced his survey to discover what developments were needed in spectroscopy by readers. Some of the initial responses are explored, and Tony finds that he has opened a “can of worms”.

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 29/6 (2017)

Investigation of paper collages by near infrared imaging techniques

Enrico Pigorsch, Matthias Finger, Johanna Kerber, Michael Fleck

We all know how spectroscopy and other analytical technologies have played important roles in detecting fraud and in authentication. Paper collages, or photomontages, are part of the art market that is seeing much interest amongst collectors. It is difficult to detect forgeries just through expertise. The use of NIR imaging offers a number of ways to identify forgeries or authenticate the collage non-destructively; from determining the glue used to the revealing of printing on the back of the pieces or paper, which often have been taken from books and magazines.

Article  |  Issue 29/1 (2017)

Shedding light on medieval manuscripts

Catherine E. Nicholson, Andrew Beeby, Richard Gameson

It is not every issue that one of our articles starts with a quotation in medieval English, and it is appropriate as two of our articles cover the use of spectroscopy in cultural heritage. This is yet another field where the rich information provided by spectroscopy, along with its non-destructive nature (for many techniques), portability and ability to generate chemical images make it the answer to many questions. Kate Nicholson, Andrew Beeby and Richard Gameson are responsible for the medieval English at the start of their article “Shedding light on medieval manuscripts”. They describe the general use of Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of historical artefacts, and, in particular, their work on medieval European manuscripts and 18th century watercolour pigments. They stess the importance of checking the actual laser power density to avoid damage to priceless artefacts.

Article  |  Issue 28/4 (2016)

TISCH—Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy in Cultural Heritage: applications in archaeology, architecture and art conservation science

J. Bianca Jackson

Terahertz spectroscopy and imaging of Paleolithic cave etchings, 14th century paintings in a church and a mid-20th century Italian painting are all described. This helps demonstrate the versatility of the technique as well as its potential in cultural heritage preservation.

Article  |  Issue 28/4 (2016)

Infrared spectroscopy as a tool to study plant cuticles

José A. Heredia-Guerrero, José J. Benítez, Eva Domínguez, Ilker S. Bayer, Roberto Cingolani, Athanassia Athanassiou, Antonio Heredia

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.

Article  |  Issue 28/2 (2016)
Photo of dragonfly wing

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and imaging of dragonfly, damselfly and cicada wing membranes

Mark J. Tobin, Ljiljana Puskar, Song Ha Nguyen, Jafar Hasan, Hayden K. Webb, Carol J. Hirschmugl, Michael J. Nasse, Gediminas Gervinskas, Saulius Juodkazis, Gregory S. Watson, Jolanta A. Watson, David E. Mainwaring, Peter J. Mahon, Richard Marchant, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova

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.

Article  |  Issue 27/4 (2015)

Optical spectroscopy in therapy response monitoring: an awakening giant

Arja M. Kullaa, Surya P. Singh, Jopi W. Mikkonen, Arto P. Koistinen

“Optical spectroscopy in therapy response monitoring: an awakening giant” by Arja Kullaa, Surya Singh, Jopi Mikkonen and Arto Koistinen looks at the important advances made by optical spectroscopy techniques, such as diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI), Raman, diffuse reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopy, in changing how cancer is managed in patients. The ability to repeatedly monitor tumour dynamics to see how effective a particular treatment has been has enormous potential for us all.

Article  |  Issue 27/1 (2015)

Elucidating structural and compositional changes in plant tissues and single cells by Raman spectroscopic imaging

Batirtze Prats Mateu, Barbara Stefke, Marie-Theres Hauser, Notburga Gierlinger

“Elucidating structural and compositional changes in plant tissues and single cells by Raman spectroscopic imaging” is the topic of the next article by Batirtze Prats Mateu, Barbara Stefke, Marie-Theres Hauser and Notburga Gierlinger. Understanding plant cells is important for the best use of plants in traditional and new applications. Raman spectroscopic imaging represents one of the best ways to unravel the molecular structure in the native environment of plant tissues.

Article  |  Issue 26/5 (2014)

Multisensor hyperspectral imaging as a versatile tool for image-based chemical structure determination

H. Lohninger, J. Ofner

The authors describe “Multisensor hyperspectral imaging as a versatile tool for image-based chemical structure determination”. They describe the features of a software package that allows the combined analysis of hyperspectral data from different imaging techniques. This multisensor approach providing complementary information has many advantages.

Article  |  Issue 26/5 (2014)

Review of nanoscale infrared spectroscopy applications to energy related materials

Curtis Marcott, Tadashi Awatani, Jiping Ye, David Gerrard, Michael Lo, Kevin Kjoller

The authors give us a “Review of nanoscale infrared spectroscopy applications to energy related materials”. Fuel cells, photovoltaics and specialised polymers for fracking are all considered.

Article  |  Issue 26/1 (2014)

Novel concepts in infrared spectral imaging as a cancer diagnostic tool

Jayakrupakar Nallala, Olivier Piot, Marie-Danièle Diebold, Cyril Gobinet, Olivier Bouché, Michel Manfait, Ganesh Dhruvananda Sockalingum

This article describes an application of spectral imaging for the differentiation of tumour and normal cells. The authors also introduce the concept of a spectral barcode, which has had success with some tissues and has potential in others.

Article  |  Issue 25/6 (2013)

Near infrared hyperspectral imaging for foreign body detection and identification in food processing

Aoife A. Gowen, Colm P. O’Donnell

With continuing food scares around the world, food producers need every tool they can get to prevent contamination of their products at every stage of production. Hyperspectral reflectance imaging in the NIR combined with chemometrics shows much promise for the detection and identification of foreign bodies among food grains.

Article  |  Issue 25/6 (2013)

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging of live cells

Jennifer A. Dougan, Sergei G. Kazarian

There are a number of approaches, and by combining FT-IR imaging methodology with microfluidics devices, the opportunity to study live cells by FT-IR imaging in controlled environments is now possible.

Article  |  Issue 25/5 (2013)

Single particle characterisation in biologics: from mid-infrared micro-spectroscopy and mapping to spectral imaging

Patrick Garidel

The presence of “particles” in protein pharmaceuticals (biologics) can cause severe, unwanted effects in the drug. The article describes the use of mid-infrared micro-spectroscopy for the investigation and chemical characterisation of single particles in these biologics.

Article  |  Issue 25/1 (2013)

Measuring brain activity using functional near infrared spectroscopy: a short review

Felix Scholkmann, Martin Wolf

“Measuring brain activity using functional near infrared spectroscopy: a short review” by Felix Scholkmann and Martin Wolf looks at the various methods for performing fNIRS and some applications that demonstrate why this non-invasive, safely applicable, portable and cost-effective method is now an integral part of the techniques used in neuroscience.

Article  |  Issue 24/4 (2012)

Fireworks: composition and chemistry through Raman spectroscopy and SEM-EDS imaging

Kepa Castro, Silvia Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Juan Manuel Madariaga

Whilst fireworks are a great entertainment, they can also be used for illegal activities as well as potentially containing dangerous chemicals. The combination of Raman spectroscopy and SEM-EDS turns out to be a very efficient analytical method. In fact, these complementary techniques may also be used to analyse other kinds of pyrotechnic artefacts, low explosive formulations, high explosives, explosion residues etc.

Article  |  Issue 24/3 (2012)

Reverse engineering of polymeric multilayers using AFM-based nanoscale IR spectroscopy and thermal analysis

Tom Eby, Usha Gundusharma, Michael Lo, Khoren Sahagian, Curtis Marcott, Kevin Kjoller

It is possible to obtain both infrared spectra and thermal analysis data of individual layers in a cross-sectioned multilayer film. Since both techniques are AFM-based, the topographical features can be readily linked to the spectroscopic and thermal data at a much higher spatial resolution than previously achievable.

Article  |  Issue 24/3 (2012)

The role of microspectroscopy techniques in the study of historic artworks

Nati Salvadó, Salvador Butí, Trinitat Pradell

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.

Article  |  Issue 22/6 (2010)

Revealing the presence of creatine in human spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by infrared microspectroscopy

Magdalena Szczerbowska-Boruchowska, Joanna Chwiej, Paul Dumas, Barbara Tomikc Dariusz Adamek, Marek Lankosz

We have previously investigated the topographic and quantitative changes in the distribution of trace metals in spinal cords from ALS and control patients. X-ray fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate their metallic nature and distribution in single nerve cells. A deeper understanding of the neurodegenerative processes in ALS requires focus on the biochemical changes occurring in nervous tissue of such a disorder. For this purpose, we have undertaken an infrared microspectroscopy study. While metals are suggested to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of ALS, they typically do not occur in tissues as free ions. This results in the presence of the complex mechanisms of metal ions buffering that protect cells against their toxic effects. Metal homeostasis is regulated by several proteins. Such proteins containing metal cofactor are called metalloproteins.

Article  |  Issue 22/4 (2010)

Laser ablation ICP atomic emission spectrometry: a new tool for imaging of pharmaceutical tablets

M. Mohamed, A.G. Cox, C.W. McLeod

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. Laser ablation in combination with ICP emission spectrometry represents a powerful new tool for imaging elemental distribution in pharmaceutical tablets.

Article  |  Issue 22/4 (2010)

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