Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years


Synchrotron-based micro Fourier transform infrared mapping to investigate the spatial distribution of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in earthworm-secreted calcium carbonate balls

Mark E. Hodson, Liane G. Benning, Gianfelice Cinque, Bea Demarchi, Mark Frogley, Kirsty E.H. Penkman, Juan D. Rodriguez-Blanco, Paul F. Schofield, Emma A.A. Versteegh, Katia Wehbe

Several earthworm species secrete very small granules of calcium carbonate, and the authors think these are involved in pH regulation. These granules contain different polymorphs of calcium carbonate, including the amorphous form which is very unstable in the laboratory. To investigate this they have FT-IR spectroscopy and mapping, and are continuing this work with Ca XANES.

Article  |  Issue 28/3 (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)

Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink

Philippa L. Ascough, Michael I. Bird, Will Meredith, Colin E. Snape

Research into climate change takes many directions, but storing carbon or understanding its release from stores is extremely important. Pyrogenic carbon comes from the incomplete burning of biomass, and can be natural, e.g. wild fires, or man-made, e.g. the production of charcoal. The authors describe the uses of a range of spectroscopy techniques to understand the molecular structure of pyrogenic carbon and its role in the global carbon cycle.

Article  |  Issue 28/2 (2016)

Automated detection of counterfeit drugs using multimodal spectroscopy and advanced web-based software platforms

Maren Fiege, Sára Harkai, Diana Weigel, Michael Pütz, Hans Meyer, Heinz Pritzke, Sabine Neuberger, Christian Neusüß, Eva Woltmann, Carolin Huhn, Andrey Bogomolov, Björn Fähler, Klaus Schürmann

In this Tony Davies Column, we learn about “Automated detection of counterfeit drugs using multimodal spectroscopy and advanced web-based software platforms”. 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.

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 27/4 (2015)
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)

Infrared mapping spectroscopic ellipsometry

Karsten Hinrichs, Andreas Furchner

The authors 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

Article  |  Issue 27/3 (2015)

Monitoring of catalytic reactions and catalyst preparation processes in liquid phase systems by combined in situ spectroscopic methods

Ursula Bentrup

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.

Article  |  Issue 27/3 (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)

The last furlong (6). The finishing line is in sight!

A.M.C. Davies

This is Tony’s last column for Spectroscopy Europe. It is explores an idea that he has been developing for over 30 years, although as Tony points out the story starts around 3500 years ago.

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 26/6 (2014)

Shedding light on plant biology by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of pollen

Boris Zimmermann, Achim Kohler

Currently, pollen identification is mostly done under a light microscope. FT-IR spectroscopy of pollen grains provides rapid and simple identification of pollen, with the added benefit of providing environmental information.

Article  |  Issue 26/4 (2014)

Quantum cascade laser-based mid-infrared spectrochemical imaging of tissues and biofluids

Graeme Clemens, Benjamin Bird, Miles Weida, Jeremy Rowlette, Matthew J. Baker

Mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging is a rapidly emerging technique in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics that takes advantage of the unique molecular fingerprint of cells, tissue and biofluids to provide a rich biochemical image without the need for staining. Spectroscopic analysis allows for the objective classification of biological material at a molecular level.1 This “label free” molecular imaging technique has been applied to histology, cytology, surgical pathology, microbiology and stem cell research, and can be used to detect subtle changes to the genome, proteome and metabolome.2–4

Article  |  Issue 26/4 (2014)

Broadband photon time-of-flight spectroscopy as a prospective tool in biomedicine and industrial process and quality control

Dmitry Khoptyar, Sören Johansson, Staffan Strömblad, Stefan Andersson-Engels

The analysis of turbid samples is increasingly important, not least due to their widespread occurrence in natural samples. Dmitry Khoptyar, Sören Johansson, Staffan Strömblad and Stefan Andersson-Engels show “Broadband photon time-of-flight spectroscopy as a prospective tool in biomedicine and industrial process and quality control”. The authors describe their recent development of a broadband spectrometer for evaluation of absorption and scattering spectra of very diverse turbid materials in the visible and close-near infrared (NIR) regions and its application with milk, cheese and paper samples.

Article  |  Issue 26/3 (2014)

Spectral database for postage stamps by means of FT-IR spectroscopy

Eleonora Imperio, Gabriele Giancane, Ludovico Valli

“Spectral database for postage stamps by means of FT-IR spectroscopy” by Eleonora Imperio, Gabriele Giancane and Ludovico Valli will be of great interest. As well as helping to detect forgeries, FT-IR has been used to create a database which also charts the history of the technology used to create stamps. Quite rightly, they are considered by many to be works of art.

Article  |  Issue 26/2 (2014)

The last furlong (4). Multi-variable regression

A.M.C. Davies

Tony (A.M.C.) Davies looks at Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) this issue, as well as expressing his opinions about Principal Components Regression (PCR) and Partial Least-Squares (PLS).

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 26/2 (2014)

Terahertz spectroscopy

Antony N. Davies

Tony Davies explains “Terahertz Spectroscopy” and describes some new and interesting applications

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 26/1 (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)

From lake ecology to biofuels: applications of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to algal research

Andrew P. Dean, Jon K. Pittman, David C. Sigee

“From lake ecology to biofuels—applications of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to algal research” is the topic of Andrew Dean, Jon Pittman and David  Sigee. Algae are essential for our continued live on Earth, and FT-IR spectroscopy can increase our understanding of their physiology and biotech potential.

Article  |  Issue 26/1 (2014)

The last furlong (3). Principal component analysis

A.M.C. Davies

Tony (A.M.C.) continues down the last furlong of his series of Tony Davies Column articles. This issue, he considers principal component analysis (PCA). Using research recently published in the Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy, he explains that PCA is a very useful tool but it will not solve all our problems. Two old articles on PCA, including Tony’s concept of the “Data Cake” have been added to the website, are referenced in Tony’s article and can be freely downloaded by readers.

Tony Davies Column  |  Issue 25/6 (2013)

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)