Spectroscopy Since 1975

Articles and Columns


Mike Sargent gives an overview of traceability in atomic spectroscopy. He explains the background, as well as more specialised areas such as inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Mark McDowall, Meetings Secretary of The British Mass Spectrometry Societ,y explains how the society coped with the restrictions of COVID and what his views are for the future of events.

View of the entrance to analytica virtual

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.

Following on from a recent column that reported on work which had shown that weight fractions were often incorrect concentration units to use in quantitative chemometric studies, Howard Mark goes into more detail.

Oscar Dominquez here presents the critical role of QM in the mining sector, where everything is BIG: tonnages, challenges, environmental impact, profits, risks—illustrating how proper sampling is a major critical success factor also here. But the mining sector view is not unique; the QM prerogatives can be carried over to very many other sectors as well.

What can quality sustems tell us about PCR testing for COVID-19? Peter Jenks has some concerns.

A look at recent advances in the use of Raman spectroscopy in the nuclear industry.

Over the last two decades, significant advances in technology and new methodologies have made proteomics an extremely powerful tool for protein scientists, biologists and clinical researchers. Increase in the data produced also creates new challenges for bioinformatics software development.

Peter McIntyre and Tony Davies remember Bill George, a real Welsh character and educator whose style and charisma influenced many to go on and not only stay in science but to rise to leading positions either in industry or academia.

There is hardly any other application field where correct sampling is as critically important than for Gold mineral resource estimation, because of the very low grades and the extremely irregular mineralisation heterogeneities encountered.

This article sets out to demonstrate the accurate determination of elemental impurities, especially As, in vitamin B12 according to USP chapter <233>.

This article reports the use of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the diagnosis of human breast cancer using tissue sections similar to those used by pathologists.

For the separation of ionic species, ion chromatography (IC), a type of liquid chromatography, is the method of choice. The most critical component of this technique is the separation column, which is selected based on factors that include the specific analytes of interest, the sample type and the required detection levels. This article outlines the column parameters that impact the separation of charged species in solution using ion-exchange chromatography and the developments that have continued to redefine what is possible with an IC system.

With a wide range of concentrations of elements in potable waters, their accurate determination is difficult with ICP-MS. It is possible, using a cell-based instrument, to “tune” the signal sensitivity of particular elements and so keep all them within the dynamic range of the instrument.

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.

In quantitative analysis, is it better to weigh materials when making up standard solutions or to use volumetric techniques? Traditionally, the answer has been “volume”, however, things may not be as straightforward as they seem. Henk-Jan and colleagues have conducted a new experiment, using robots for both sample preparation and spectroscopic analysis which may provide a definitive answer. Unfortunately, the answer must wait for publication of their paper, but Tony and Henk-Jan’s history of this question makes interesting reading nevertheless.

The sampling of particulate matter is all too often performed without consideration of the importance of representative sampling and the Theory of Sampling. This second part compares grab sampling with composite sampling further illustrating this important issue, and again using the example of contaminated soil which often has a very complex nature.

This work demonstrates the determination of inorganic anions in drinking water by ion chromatography.

Whilst automation is not a panacea, it can improve the accuracy of manual tasks as well as freeing up our time for more challenging tasks. The authors explore some particular examples they have come across and lessons learned from them.

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.