Spectroscopy Since 1975
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Articles and Columns

Risk: photo of a climber hanging from an overhang
21 Nov 2022

Kim Esbensen and Claudia Paoletti hope that a risk assessment scope will provide the sampling community with an easier, and perhaps more powerful, way to reach out to business, commerce, trade as well as regulatory and law-enforcement authorities across many societal sectors. It may also speak a more business-oriented language beyond traditional “TOS technicalities”.

Photo of a modernised EM360 NMR spectrometer
21 Nov 2022

Tony and Mohan Cashyap interview John Hollerton, who has just retired after a career of over 40 years at GSK (and its many previous names). John has been responsible for many aspects of analytical chemistry at GSK. As Tony says, he is “an innovative ideas man with some interesting stories”.

Aerial photo of Silchester Roman settlement
5 Sep 2022

This article describes how gamma-ray spectroscopy can reveal new features in buried archaeological sites. In her case at the Roman settlement of Silchester in Hampshire, UK, and other sites.

Diagram of reducing the background from pump and mobile phases
5 Sep 2022

LC/MS/MS analysis of PFAS at ultra-trace levels requires mitigation to both liquid chromatograph and mass spectrometer to eliminate the leaching of fluorochemicals from components within the systems. Manual SPE configurations also require mitigative steps to eliminate any components constructed of PTFE to minimise or eliminate any PFAS contamination.

Diagram of scattering
5 Sep 2022

This article describes a really interesting use of spectroscopic data processing from optical fibre cables.

Photo of confused person
5 Sep 2022

“Error” and “uncertainty” are being used interchangeably and confusingly. This is “a scientific flaw of the first order”! However, Kim and Francis will put you right.

Four Generations of Quality timeline
5 Sep 2022

John Hammond finishes his magnum opus on “Four Generations of Quality” with a look at what is science fiction and what is science fact. He considers what may turn out to be “fact” in the future for each of the preceding eight articles in the series.

Image of a prism splitting light
2 Sep 2022

Non-linear spectroscopy can have various applications in different fields due to the accuracy and resolution it provides. This article describes a few possible applications that show the importance of non-linear spectroscopy.

Raman spectrum of aspirin
20 Jun 2022

A Raman spectroscopy method was optimised to examine the chemical changes of aspirin tablets after interaction with helium temperatures.

Photo of the island where Viking remains were found
20 Jun 2022

Sampling and Vikings seems to be the next unexpected connection within Kim Esbensen’s Sampling Column. Kim has been exploring an area of Southern Norway from where the founder of the Theory of Sampling, Pierre Gy, believed his ancestors originated. You will have to read the column to find the “smoking axe”! Oh, and there is an interesting report on the 10th World Conference on Sampling and Blending.

Logo from the ALI2004 conference
20 Jun 2022

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.

Structure of ISO/TC 334 standards to ISO 17034
20 Jun 2022

John Hammond has taken a break from his Four Generations magnum opus and reports on the recent meeting of the ISO technical committee on reference materials (ISO TC 334).

Scan of brain with various MS images from different regions
20 May 2022

This article describes MALDI imaging’s potential uses in pathology applications, and the benefits of the technique to map hundreds of biomolecules (proteins, lipids and glycans, for example) in a label-free, untargeted manner or for imaging target proteins using a modified immunohistochemistry protocol, often from a single tissue section.

Images of metals in the brain
20 May 2022

This article describes the use of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence and absorption spectroscopies to image metals in the brain.

Photo of entire crisps/chips and their crumbs
20 May 2022

This column has invited two world-renowned experts in near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to let the world benefit from decades of leading-edge experience, especially regarding sampling for quantitative NIR analysis.

Photo of quantum dots in tubes
20 May 2022

This article looks at three related spectroscopic techniques/tools in the toolbox, namely, Fluorescence, near infrared (NIR) and Raman; and discuss the “what”, “where” and “how” of these techniques are being used to improve the quality of the measurement processes associated with them.

10 Apr 2022

This column starts to answer the question, “how does one actually find FAIR data?” with a detailed example from Imperial College London.

7 Apr 2022

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.

14 Mar 2022

The latest in this series of “Four Generations of Quality” considers the essential component that controls our modern instrument systems and the associated concept of data integrity that is fundamental to the quality of the data being generated.

14 Mar 2022

Sampling is nothing more than the practical application of statistics. If statistics were not available, then one would have to sample every portion of an entire population to determine one or more parameters of interest. There are many potential statistical tests that could be employed in sampling, but many statistical tests are useful only if certain assumptions about the population are valid. Prior to any sampling event, the operative Decision Unit (DU) must be established. The Decision Unit is the material object that an analytical result makes inference to. In many cases, there is more than one Decision Unit in a population. A lot is a collection (population) of individual Decision Units that will be treated as a whole (accepted or rejected), depending on the analytical results for individual Decision Units. The application of the Theory of Sampling (TOS) is critical for sampling the material within a Decision Unit. However, knowledge of the analytical concentration of interest within a Decision Unit may not provide information on unsampled Decision Units; especially for a hyper-heterogenous lot where a Decision Unit can be of a completely different characteristic than an adjacent Decision Unit. In cases where every Decision Unit cannot be sampled, application of non-parametric statistics can be used to make inference from sampled Decision Units to Decision Units that are not sampled. The combination of the TOS for sampling of individual Decision Units along with non-parametric statistics offers the best possible inference for situations where there are more Decision Units than can practically be sampled.