Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years

Articles and Columns


Tony Davies and Mohan Cashyap discuss this topic with help from a number of industry experts. Whilst there are undoubted computing and networking issues for regulated industries in allowing working from home as if the user was in the lab, they are not insurmountable.

Previous Sampling Columns have dominantly focused on the technical issues of representative sampling. This column addresses sampling from the complementary point of view: “What is the economic and commercial impact from non-representative sampling on management decisions and in boardrooms?” We have invited two experienced business consultants to help scope out an outline indicating powerful opportunities for added value and for substantial savings.

It is difficult to provide practical experience with gamma spectroscopy in undergraduate laboratories, and the authors have been investigating alternative sources, and the 138La isotope is a suitable candidate. As well as some background on gamma spectroscopy and radiochemistry, Marco and Valentina also provide some sample exercises that could be used for undergraduate practicals.

David is concerned about the “Importance of citing full details of spectral library and search program” in papers. As he points out, “even when the same mass spectrum is searched against two different versions of the NIST/EPA/NIH EI Mass Spectral Library using the same search program, two different compounds can be found as the first Hit”. There are many possible reasons for this, but the version of the spectral library used and the particular search program used make a difference, and should be included in all references.

A sponsored article demonstrating the ability of the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ PRO Series inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy instrument to determine trace elements and major components in foodstuffs to comply with regulations.

This article describes a recently introduced, rapid, laser-based hyperspectral method for thin-film analysis in the mid-IR fingerprint range.

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.

Kim Esbensen outlines questions you should ask before buying any sampling equipment, and points out areas of responsibility.

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.

The latest edition of the European Pharmacopoeia on ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy has become mandatory as of 1 January 2020, so those of you who need to comply with its requirements will find this of particular interest. Nathan and John pick apart the significant changes with a view to their practical application for instrument users. Cells, control of equipment performance, wavelength accuracy, absorbance accuracy, photometric linearity, stray light and resolution, system suitability and reference materials are all covered.

Kim Esbensen has, in his Sampling Column, been alerting us all to the dangers of ignoring sampling and explaining how to use the Theory of Sampling (TOS) to ensure correct and representative sampling. In this issue, he, with the help of Paul Bédard from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, shows one way in which students can be introduced to the TOS and the problems of ignoring heterogeneity in sampling. Paul Bédard has developed a simple sampling exercise based around floor tiles (see front cover) to provide his geoscience students with practical experience.

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.

The authors offer many useful points to consider when using pre-processing techniques.

The Sampling Column points out that incorrect sampling is irreversible: no amount of chemometrics or further samples will be able to produce a valid model if the sampling is not representative. This applies in flowing PAT analyses as much as in static.

The authors have developed a clever solution to be able to provide constant resolution, high-resolution mass spectrometry data across the full spectrum. In doing so, they have assigned 244,779 unique elemental compositions: a record.

This article reports on work using NIR spectroscopy to investigate the physiology of seals during diving. As well as the versatility of NIR spectroscopy, the technical achievements involved in placing a spectrometer on a seal without harming it and recording data underwater are amazing.

Estuaries are where much of our marine pollution is to be found, being the gateway between the land and the ocean. They are also where much of our seafood comes. So, knowledge of elemental contamination in estuaries is vital to protect us from the ingestion of polluted seafood.

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have a significant role in modern society: from portable electronic devices to electric cars and bicycles. Indeed, I would be surprised if anyone reading this does not have a LIB on or near them now. Both NMR and EPR spectroscopies and their imaging modalities can provide useful information, which will prove important in battery research and the development of ever improving batteries.

A recent conference on Extractables and Leachables in Hamburg not only allowed two ex-colleagues to meet after many years, but also provided information on developments and trends in the regulatory environment. Not only are ever lower levels of detection required, but also analytical requirements are being placed on companies further back in the materials’ supply chain that have not had to make such considerations before.

The Quality Matters Column highlights how the reference material industry has grown. Peter Jenks asks for your help in rerunning a 2001 survey with aim of establishing how users’ use of and experience with reference materials has changed. Whilst most questions are optional, such surveys are of the greatest value if most questions are answered. We hope you can spend a few minutes to complete the survey at